Thursday, November 16, 2006

Flash floods

A bridge collapsed on Cleveland Street in Plains Township due to Thursday’s storm.

Here we go again. This area has been prone to flooding for as long as I can remember. Tonight's adventure in some ways is more dangerous than what happened in June when the Susquehanna River threatened to jump it's banks in the Wilkes-Barre area. All our EMS types keep an eye on the river and when it starts to rise there is plenty of warning. When Mill Creek near my house gets out of control there is no warning.

Just a point of cartography. The stream that runs through Plains, Miners Mills, Hollenback Park, past General Hospital and into the river is actually named Gardners Creek (map). But it's always been called Mill Creek by me and everybody else.

But anyway. My normal 10 minute trip home tonight turned into an hour adventure. There was a two foot lake near the side entrance to Pocono Downs trapping many people putting their life savings into a machine that will never love them back. I had to turn around and when I tried the back roads it was more high water with the added attraction of mud and rock slides. When I finally got home I was met by a torrent of water gushing down the hill because of the runoff and just about every drain being clogged by leaves and debris. As happens in times of emergency people came together. Everybody was out helping out either cleaning leaves from the storm drains or setting up sump pumps in the house next door.

The great thing about living in an old neighborhood is that we have been through it before and know what is at stake. By old neighborhood I don't just mean people who have lived here a long time. Even our new home owners and renters on the street chipped in tonight and became part of the old neighborhood.


Bill Fitzpatrick said...

the best day for a block is the day after the blizzard, my dad is upset there has not been one since he got a snow blower becuase he wants to be every[ne savior

LVDem said...

when I was in grad school, we got 2 feet of snow and in the middle of the night power went out b/c a tree in teh back alley fell. The electric crew was only able to clear the wires but they couldn't get their trucks back there b/c of the snow. So at 3 AM, 10 college guys armed with 2 snow blowers and 8 snow shovels were clearing the back alley. It was one of the most memorable nights of my life. I was cold and tired, but by 4:30 AM, the electricy was back on. We were told that a similar incident occured a few years back and that it took 24 hours for electricty to come back on and several homes had their pipes burst. The next day, the one old couple on the block had a pizza delivered to all of our apartments.

That was my first time living in an old neighborhood. I've lived in one since.

D.B. Echo said...

I hope everything worked out for you, and Mrs. G.'s mom's basement was salvageable. We didn't get any water in our basement, despite the fact that our uphill neighbor directs all of his downspouts onto our lawn instead of the street. I guess the lamb's blood I smeared on the lintel did the trick!

D.B. Echo said...

Oh, and I was kinda hoping that Mohegan Sun would get flooded and all of the machines would short out.

My friend at work and I have figured it out: the idea is to bankrupt all the little old ladies who go there, foreclose on their houses, and then sell the real estate at three times its actual value to suckers from New York.

In the meanwhile, we're talking about chartering buses to run trips from our plant every Thursday (payday) to the casino. We'd make a fortune. I wonder if Mohegan Sun cashes paychecks?

Walter said...

I feel very sad for the residents that were flooded out...It is sure a test of our endurance and character...I also feel that if the City Administration would be more proactive regarding the infrastructure of the City, then some of this tragedy could have been avoided...Seems we have money for the downtown but no money to help the residents to be better prepared for flooding...Little items like cleaning the streets of leaves before the heavy rains come and block the storm drains...The City knew we were in for a bad storm two days ago and did nothing to prepare...It is unfortunate that the residents cant get any service from the City Administration until after the disaster. This is why we need District Representation instead of the City Council elected at Large...Bill Barrett and Mike McGinley and Phil Latinski are more worried about ordinances that make us pay more money to the City for fines and fee's than they are worried about the Residents safety...We need a change in Wilkes Barre City Council...Please vote responsibly in May 2007

Gort said...

Walter, You can't expect the government to anticipate or respond to every emergency. In a fast moving situation like this one you either take action yourself or drown. I don't know about W-B but in Plains our emergency services were taxed to the limit and responded to every crisis within the crisis valiantly. I tip my hat to our police, fire dept. and road crews.

Walter said...

Please dont misunderstand my statements..I applaud the Police and Fire Dept of Wilkes Barre for a job well done under extremely difficult circumstances...I do feel however that the City Administration needs to take a more proactive look at being better prepared for a potential disaster by at least keeping the City Sewers and Catch basins clean of debris...That is their job and as a Taxpayer I expect it to be done...I think the Mayor and City Council should and must provide more Fire Personel to the Fire Dept and stop trying to short change the taxpayers by ignoring the needs of the Fire Department.

Gort said...

You're good about bitching about what is wrong. What would you do differently and how would you pay for it?