June 16, 2014 |
Hurricane season is starting slowly, and weather forecasters predict that El Niño may help spare us this year. But as Hurricane Sandy reminded our region, you never can predict when you'll be in bad luck's bull's-eye. So it's a good time to consider how to avoid another kind of harm: from a Swiss-cheese insurance policy. Some Sandy victims found, for instance, that if losses were caused by both wind and water, a term with a whale of a name - an "anti-concurrent-causation clause" - could help an insurer sidestep or lowball a claim.
May 23, 2014 |
Behind the upside-down chairs on the bar in Tom Fischer's Tavern, a plaque hangs from the wall. "The First Bar on This Site Was Born in 1938," it reads. Over the decades, the Haddon Township bar, which prides itself on attracting a diverse crowd, has served doctors and construction workers, patrons young and old. But on Wednesday, a fire temporarily put a cork in the memories. Fire crews responded sometime before 4 a.m. Valerie Fischer, owner since 1995, said a smoldering cigarette was suspected as the cause, but arson had been ruled out. The worst damage was in a back area known as the smoking patio, Fischer said.
May 4, 2014 |
Ryan Houck was at work at Tri-Tech Automotive on Jefferson Avenue in Downingtown when he saw the water approaching from down the street Wednesday. Within minutes, the flood was at his feet. "I felt like I was on the Titanic," said Houck, 27. "The water started coming in the doors. " Houck and Tri-Tech owner Lee Captis spent Friday the way many residents did who live and work in flood-prone areas around the region: cleaning mud from the walls and floor. With the water receding and the sun shining - finally - officials and residents were left with assessing the damage from the record-setting rains that swamped the region this week.
April 1, 2014 |
They don't call it Mud Island for nothing. On Sunday, two days of rain and drizzle had left widening pools and fields of shoe-sucking muck in and around Fort Mifflin on the Delaware River. No one at the fort cared, it seemed. Certainly not the more than 40 volunteers who swarmed the place as the British never did. They were intent on cleaning and polishing and ripping out burned and bedraggled building elements, casting all debris into growing piles of soggy timbers and woebegone insulation.
March 22, 2014 |
For many people, a do-it-yourself renovation is merely the cheapest path toward a more beautiful place to live. But for Percy Bright and Tara Mangini, their house makeover became something more: It was a place to learn on the job, a showcase for their design sensibility, and ultimately, the launchpad for a new career. Today, Bright, 29, and Mangini, 30, run the boutique design-build firm Jersey Ice Cream Co. Back in 2009, though, Bright was a graphic designer - and when it came to buying a house, he wasn't even sure what he was looking for. When he came across the South Philadelphia rowhouse, it had "grandma-style" decor - not exactly the stuff of a dynamic interior-design portfolio.
February 22, 2014 |
Eugene Nowakowski and his wife spent the night at a Red Cross shelter following a water-main break Wednesday that flooded the basement of his Port Richmond home and left him without water or heat. As he prepared to spend a second night at the Red Cross House in West Philadelphia, what pained him most was the water damage to his custom-made Ken Smith bass guitar. "You can't buy it anywhere. It was made just for me," an angry Nowakowski said Thursday night. The water-main break Wednesday afternoon flooded the basement of at least a dozen homes in the 3000 block of Livingston Street, where the 55-year-old Nowakowski has lived for two decades.
January 15, 2014 |
THE TEACHERS UNION is calling a decision late last week to reopen North Philadelphia's Thomas Edison High School - which closed for three days after the building sustained water damage when a coil burst in the heating/cooling system - potentially hazardous to its students and staff. For now, students and staff are back in the school while a 45,000-square-foot section covering five floors is still cordoned off, school district spokesman Fernando Gallard said. The district hired a private company to clean up the damaged section, which he said is adjacent to the cafeteria.
January 8, 2014 |
The Philadelphia region prepared Monday for a deep freeze that was poised to deliver life-threatening cold and treacherous commutes. The mercury briefly rose to a practically balmy 60 degrees Monday morning in Philadelphia, then steadily fell throughout the day as the arctic air that has been tormenting the Midwest crept eastward. The forecast low was expected to be 7, and Tuesday's high was to inch up only to 12, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a windchill advisory for 12:01 to 5 a.m. The wind chill could plunge to minus-15.
December 26, 2013 |
Expensive cars in the front. Cheap cars in the back. John Silva's display strategy has worked well in attracting business to his car dealership in Frankford. But on Monday, a major water main broke across the street, sending water gushing into his car lot and other businesses. "It was all my front line," Silva said Tuesday of his BMW and Mercedes vehicles that were destroyed by the quick-moving current. "My crappy cars were in the back, on the hill. Those were fine. " About 23 million gallons of water broke free from a 106-year-old water main at Frankford and Torresdale Avenues, flooding nearby streets and businesses, including a small ice cream shop and a large CVS. The damage was still being assessed Tuesday.
December 13, 2013 |
CENTER CITY The water-main break that flooded part of southwest Center City two summers ago has long been repaired, and the city has committed to paying for the damages. But now, it gets complicated. Water damage to dozens of homes and businesses flooded that night - estimated at $2.8 million based on claims filed so far - is more than five times what the city is statutorily allowed to pay out. And a fight is brewing in court as the claimants, including utility giants Verizon and Peco, fight for the $500,000 pot of city money.