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Woodwinds Residents Evacuate Ahead of Storm

Many occupants of the 79-unit Woodwinds complex in Hatboro voluntarily evacuated ahead of Hurricane Sandy, an official said.

Joann Gefter has no intention of reliving a near-death situation to leave her flooding Hatboro home.

This time, instead of waiting until Pennypack Creek waters are raging and filling the first floor of her home at Woodwinds with water, fish and smelly debris, Gefter, her husband Gary and their 1-year-old daughter, Tatum, left while the going was good, on Sunday.

"We learned our lesson the first time," Mrs. Gefter told Patch in an e-mail Monday afternoon. "My family packed up what we needed and went to my parents in Philly. Our neighbors left too."

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Mrs. Gefter, Gary and their then- 6-week-old daughter risked their lives fleeing Hurricane Irene last August. Mrs. Gefter was swept away in the current and, if not for the help of a neighbor, may have died. 

"After hearing about what happened last year everyone had the same idea ... get out," Gefter wrote. "I am hoping and praying that we sustain miminal damage."

Hatboro Emergency Management Coordinator Fred Zollers told Patch on Monday that many residents of the oft-flooded Woodwinds development agreed to leave on their own prior to the storm impacting the community.

The Gefters are one of a dozen families awaiting government buyouts of their Woodwinds condominiums. Hatboro applied to the federal/state governments on behalf of the residents, and is awaiting to hear for certainty if the buyouts were approved. 

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