Governor Shapiro Pays Visit To Yardley To Sign Flood Insurance Bill

by Alex Lloyd Gross

Alex Lloyd Gross File Photo Yardley was closed from the 1996 flooding. Police and fire crews block the road into town.

Yardley Pa. is a beautiful, small town in Bucks County. It sits near the Delaware River, which at times can turn this beautiful town into something ugly. Roads get washed away, houses get flooded, and businesses have to close. Governor Josh Shapiro stopped at the Yardley Inn to do a ceremonial bill signing yesterday.

State Rep Perry Warren spearheaded a bill through the house that would help people get flood insurance more easily and possibly get government help in securing this coverage. When Sen. Steven Santarsiero. started this quest, he was the House Representative for the Yardley area. Warren is his successor and picked up where the senator left off. That bill, number 735 was signed into law by the governor.

Alex Lloyd Gross File Photo-Delaware Valley In January 1996, Yardley residents venture outside to see the flooding.

Alex Lloyd Gross File Photo Delaware Valley In April 2005, houses flooding in Yardley Borough

Yardley has been prone to serious flooding, as was evidenced this past summer. Several people died in this flooding. In January 1996, a freezing cold winter saw the Delaware River loaded with ice chucks that jammed up against bridges during a tidal surge. That caused massive flooding in Yardley.. It was not only water that flooded the town, but huge chunks of ice also had to be removed before they melted. Access to most of the town was closed off . 80 homes and 40 business were affected., said Caroline Thompson President, Yardley Borough Council.

Alex Lloyd Gross File photo- Flooding in Yardley 1996 huge ice chunks on River Road

In April 2005 major flooding again hit Yardley, hitting the same areas that were decimated nine years earlier. Not everyone had flood insurance. In fact, according to PA. Insurance Commissioner Michael Humpheys, only about 50,000 households in the state hold a flood insurance policy. This kind of insurance is expensive. In fact, the insurance companies can legally deny you a policy if you are in a flood plain. The Yardley Inn , where this ceremonial signing took place sustained damage to their basement during the flooding.

It is not just Yardley. In 2021, severe flooding damaged portions of Bensalem and Bristol. In fact, the Lafayette Gardens complex was deiminated by a flood.

Flood insurance has traditionally only been available to homeowners or renters through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but today there are more options for consumers to consider. Flood insurance is available through private insurers, including surplus lines insurers, and can be purchased through licensed property and casualty insurance agents in Pennsylvania to cover almost any building and its contents, including rental property and condominiums. Tenants can buy protection for their belongings as well.

Alex Lloyd Gross File Photo-Delaware Valley Damage at the Lafeyette Gardens in Bensalem after flooding in 2021.

“The establishment of a flood insurance task force is a proactive step towards ensuring homeowners and businesses in Bucks County can more easily recover from future flash floods,” said Bucks County Commissioner Chair Bob Harvie. “My fellow Commissioners and I are committed to working closely with Governor Shapiro, state and local officials, insurance providers, and our dedicated emergency services personnel towards improving our response to these devastating floods.

Pennsylvanians impacted by flooding should visit PID’s website for resources that can help guide property owners through filing insurance claims, and tips to avoid repair scams. More information on the NFIP and private flood insurance is available on the Insurance Department’s one-stop Flood Insurance page, and more information on guidance following a severe weather event can be found on the Disaster Recovery resource page.

Alex Lloyd Gross File photo-Delaware Valley April 2005 flooding in Yardley.

Consumers with questions or wishing to file a complaint can contact PID’s Consumer Services Bureau, or by calling 1-877-881-6388.