Ivan's wrath costly in Fulton County

September 21, 2004|by DON AINES

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - Three days after the remnants of Hurricane Ivan passed through, officials in Fulton County, Pa., said Monday that several roads remain closed and damage will run into the millions of dollars.

"We hope by the end of the week we have all the roads that are closed open to traffic," said Ronald Swope, the assistant maintenance manager in the county for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The exception is Little Egypt Road near Hustontown, Pa. Swope said that road, where a concrete bridge was washed out, will take weeks to re-open.


U.S. 30 in Licking Creek Township near Harrisonville, Pa., was open, but Swope said the road sustained significant flood damage Friday at the approaches to a bridge.

Damage to bridge approaches closed sections of other roads, including Johnsons Mills Road near Warfordsburg, Pa.; Waterfall Road near Hustontown; and Back Run Road in Ayr Township, Swope said.

Black Bear Road in Licking Creek and Belfast townships was closed because the road was washed away where a culvert was unable to handle the flow of water, Swope said.

The transportation department's estimate of road damage is $3 million to $5 million, according to Lisa Sherman, the county's emergency management director.

Officials from the National Weather Service in State College, Pa., were in the county Monday to investigate an unconfirmed report of a tornado near the Amaranth exit of Interstate 70, Sherman said.

Two tornadoes with winds of more than 80 mph hit sites near Greencastle, Pa., and St. Thomas, Pa., between 7:15 and 7:32 p.m. Friday in Franklin County, the weather service said. Trees were blown down and several structures damaged, but there were no injuries, the weather service said.

Areas of Fulton County reported between 5.6 inches and 9 inches of rain Friday, Sherman said.

Ernest Hill of Big Cove Tannery, Pa., died Saturday when he was overcome by fumes from a gas-powered generator he was using to pump out his flooded basement, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

A trailer park in Todd Township was evacuated Friday, with a dozen people seeking shelter at an American Legion post, Sherman said. Franklin County Emergency Management Coordinator Don Eshleman said 28 people used shelters at the Fayetteville, Pa., and Pleasant Hall, Pa., fire companies.

A dozen water rescues were performed in both Franklin and Fulton counties where motorists tried to drive through flooded roads, Sherman and Eshleman said.

"One gentleman had to be rescued off a farm tractor," Sherman said. She reminded drivers never to attempt to drive through water because rescuing stranded motorists puts them and emergency personnel at risk.

The Fulton County Board of County Commissioners and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell issued disaster declarations for Fulton County on Saturday, Sherman said. Eshleman said the Franklin County Board of Commissioners signed a similar declaration Saturday.

People whose homes or businesses sustained structural damage from the storm can call 1-866-EMA-FCPA in Fulton County or 717-267-2801 in Franklin County to assist emergency management personnel in assessing the extent of storm damage.

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