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Flash flood nightmares & Christmas decorations: How Philadelphia area preparing for weekend storm

NEXT Weather Alert: Big storm shaping up
NEXT Weather Alert: Big storm shaping up 02:50

YARDLEY, Pa. (CBS) -- The weekend might start calm in the Philadelphia area, but a major storm system is headed toward the region Sunday. The storm system could get in the way of Sunday plans and could even stretch into the Monday morning commute.

For one neighborhood in suburban Philadelphia, the potential storm is bringing back bad memories and fears from flash flooding in the summer. And in New Jersey, there's a recommendation to not forget about securing holiday decorations.

Bucks County residents prepare for Sunday's storm to avoid another flooding catastrophe 02:05

How Bucks County neighborhood is preparing

Yardley in Bucks County is preparing for what could happen Sunday, with a storm expected to bring high winds and inches of rain. One area was heavily damaged during July's flash floods.

"What did we count? It's been 145 days or so since then," April Bollwege-Cloer, who lives on Maplevale Drive, said.

July 15 is a day ingrained in Bollwege-Cloer's head -- she was standing Friday was gutted five months ago.

"It's been a slow process for us, to be honest," she said.

Flash flooding destroyed the lower level during the flash flooding event over the summer.

Just before Thanksgiving, the Yardley family put in new flooring, walls and paint.

The Yardley mom's backyard is no longer a construction zone.

Over several weeks, crews put in a new storm drain and built back up both her and her neighbor's land.

"There's been a ton of work in just stabilizing it," Bollwege-Cloer said.

Other changes by the township -- like clearing out nearby streams -- have also happened.

Still, Bollwege-Cloer and her neighbors on Maplevale Drive remain vocal in demanding infrastructure changes and flood mitigation efforts continue.

Worry still reverberates up and down the street any time it rains.

"The neighbors start to get a text chain," Bollwege-Cloer said. "Is everyone going to move their cars? And that happens if there's gonna be two inches of rain."

In an email, Lower Makefield's township manager said ahead of this week's storm, crews are clearing storm water inlets of leaves and will respond immediately, if needed during the event.

But Bollwege-Cloer remains skeptical.

"I'm not feeling confident," she said. "But I have to be positive."

"An environmental consulting firm hired by Lower Makefield Township is expected to release their flood mitigation findings at a board meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Storms approaching the South Jersey area Sunday threaten elaborate Christmas decorations 01:55

Storms threaten elaborate Christmas decorations

PSE&G is encouraging homeowners to be prepared for this weekend's forecast by securing their holiday decorations, so they don't end up in neighbor's yards or even cause a power outage.

Driving down Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, you can't miss Froggie Almand's home.

"It's just about the community," Almand said. "It's about putting smiles on children's faces and young parents."

Almost every inch of Almand's front yard is taken up by giant Santas and a variety of Christmas decorations. Up on the roof, a nutcracker and Frosty stand tall.

Almand said he spent four weeks setting up this elaborate display.

"Myself and two other guys do it," Almand said, "and it's a lot of work. But it's worth it."

But Almand said he learned the hard way from years past. Now, he covers all the electrical outlets and secures his decorations to protect them from storms, especially with several inches of rain and high winds in the forecast this weekend.

"We get extra big stakes," Almand said. "We get actual tent stakes and we stake the heck out of them."

Experts recommend if your decorations are not fully secured like these are, the wind can turn them into projectiles, possibly damaging your home or your neighbors.

Loose decorations can also get tangled in power lines, which can lead to an outage.

"With inflatables," Jonathan Keane said, "unplug them."

Keane is a professional Christmas light installer with Holiday Light Pros based in South Jersey. He said decorations will likely need some adjusting after the wind and rain, but his best advice is to make sure everything is secure now.

"When you think you staked it down enough times," Keane said, "tie it by three and stake it a little more."

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