The study area focuses on flooding issues within Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County, relying on the development of a watershed based hydrologic analysis. This includes evaluating the contributing flows from Abington, Jenkintown, Rockledge and Springfield. Cheltenham is part of the first ring of suburban development outside of the City of Philadelphia and is largely at maximum development capacity. Tookany Creek itself is an urbanized tributary of Tacony Creek in the Tacony-Frankford Creek watershed and ultimately part of the Delaware River drainage system. In Cheltenham Township, Tookany Creek is 98% open channel flowing through residential and park lands for more than 95% of its length.
Major flooding in this area may occur during any season of the year. During the summer and fall, floods are usually associated with tropical storms moving up the Atlantic coastline. Spring floods are generally the results of a combination of heavy rains on frozen ground augmented by melting snow. Summer and fall floods are generally the result of widespread heavy rainfall. For smaller tributaries, heavy rainfalls of short duration, particularly summer thunderstorms, cause most of the flooding problems by inundating low-lying areas. This type of flash flooding is characterized by floodwaters that rise and fall very quickly and usually have high flow velocities. The feasibility study is the first phase of the two-phased Corps of Engineers’ planning process. The purpose of the feasibility study is to evaluate all reasonable solutions to the water resource problems identified in Cheltenham Township as part of the study area. The feasibility report provides the basis for a decision on project construction.