State Money Coming To Flood-Damaged Coal Creek

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Hundreds of thousands of state dollars are coming to a couple of communities in Luzerne County washed out by flooding last year.

Parts of the borough of Plymouth and neighboring Plymouth Township were devastated by the other flood of 2011, the flash flooding that hit in July, months before the even bigger washout in September.

“I saw it firsthand. I stood right there, I was standing in the street,” said Plymouth homeowner Eric Makos. “As soon as it plugged up, water went over the neighbors. It came up back here and I was knee deep in water in a snap.”

Makos remembered the flash floods of July 3 last summer like it was yesterday.

With his home just feet away from the banks of Coal Creek, he watched as the water rose, and rose, then finally rushed over.

“There’s a lot of unknowns there because you don’t know what going to happen. I mean for something like that to happen this high off the sea level and away from the river, it was kind of scary you know?,” said Makos.

And once the water receded, Coal Street and its bridge were left mangled.

Homes and properties were victimized by the water; a Chevy Blazer was left on its roof.

Christa Cobura owned that truck and she had just finished paying it off when the floods hit.

“I’m just thankful that when it was flipping in mid-air, from what I was told, that it missed everybody else’s vehicles,” said Cobura. “That’s what I’m really thankful for, nobody was hurt.”

Now some help is on the way in the form of state dollars.

Under the Department of Environmental Protection’s “Growing Greener” Program, the Luzerne Conservation District was awarded $645,790 for its Coal Creek Project.

The district plans to restore Coal Creek to its original depth by removing deposited material and stabilize the stream bank by placing large stones to prevent future storm erosion.

The project is slated to start in late spring or early summer.

Residents living along Coal Street said they want all the protection they can get.

Christa Cobura says now that it’s flooded out once, she fears it could happen again.

“I am terrified once it storms. That’s what scares me, that my foundation could come down at any time,” said Cobura.

The Luzerne Conservation District is planning to meet with representatives from both Plymouth and Plymouth Township, as well as state and federal agencies, to begin coordinating this project.