Cleanup work under way in Pa. towns

October 30, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Water fills the grounds of Renfrew Park in Waynesboro, Pa., on Tuesday afternoon. The Antietam Creek flows through the park.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — As the sun came up over Franklin County on Tuesday, residents started assessing damage, clearing debris and pumping basements.

Friends Zach Miller and Daniel Foster, both 15, decided to look on the bright side of the aftereffects of former Hurricane Sandy. The teens grabbed fishing poles and went in search of trout and bass.

“We thought it’d be perfect fishing weather, but we thought wrong,” Zach said, saying they didn’t catch anything.

Cheryl Deal chose to look at flooding in her Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., yard and home with a positive attitude. She joked that she temporarily has lakefront property.

“When we have a significant storm event, this is normal,” Deal said.

Deal moved into her Charmian Road home, which was built in 1892, in 2005. Less than a year later, melting snow left the home completely surrounded by water.

Deal suspected something similar would happen during this week’s storm.

“I thought we’d be circled and trees would be down,” she said.

An American Red Cross volunteer, Deal said she relies on that training and always ensures she has a generator, food, flashlight and operating basement pumps prior to a storm. Her property adjacent to Happel’s Meadow Wetland Preserve only has a creek about three and a half feet wide on normal days.

Blue Ridge Summit firefighters said two people stayed in the fire hall shelter overnight Monday into Tuesday as a precaution. The firefighters said they spent Tuesday pumping basements at some of the same homes that typically have problems during storms.

Water could be seen rushing down the mountain at points along Pa. 16. It inundated the Antietam Creek and flooded the picnic grounds at Renfrew Park.

Park Administrator Bonnie Iseminger said it is difficult to evaluate the damage until the creek recedes.

“We have to do a complete survey. ... There are a lot of places that need wood chips on trails and general clean-up,” Iseminger said.

The park typically experiences flooding during storms, she said.

Welty Road south of the park was one of about 20 roads closed in the county throughout the day.

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