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Six Months Later and Still No Home

It’s been exactly six months since the September flood destroyed houses and businesses throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

Bloomsburg was one of the hardest hit areas. Newswatch 16 caught up with a man Thursday who lost everything to see how he’s doing now.

There were thousands of people affected by the September floods. Many are still trying to rebuild their lives and their homes.

One of those people is Tony Miller from Bloomsburg. He lost the house he grew up in and everything inside it. The home was knocked off its foundation.

“I lived with my brother for a week and a motel for ten weeks and then Sherwood Village,” said Miller.

The house along Main Street, where Miller lived 60 years, was almost completely under water.

Six months later, not much has changed when it comes to his house. It is still on Main Street, exactly how mother nature left it.

Miller said he was able to save a few pieces of clothing but that 98 percent of everything he owns was still inside the house and he said it’s all ruined.

“Furniture, all utilities are all gone. So I accepted it. It happened, but if I can salvage something in a drawer down there I can have that,” Miller added.

He said he got some insurance money after the flood, but he is still waiting for money from FEMA to demolish his house. He added Bloomsburg code enforcement officers will cite him on Monday if the house is not torn down. He wants to wait until he has the money before he takes action.  Even so, he said he considers himself lucky.

“The people with kids, they’re uprooted with no home. I can handle it.  This is no problem,” Miller said.

Doug and Holly Jumper’s house in Bloomsburg had more than five feet of water inside.  The couple and their dogs spent the next two months living in a relative’s trailer, parked outside their house.  They said because of help from friends and family they were able to rebuild their lives and their home.

Holly Jumper said she could not believe it when her home in Bloomsburg was damaged by the flood six months ago.  After the water went down, she and her husband, Doug, came back and found all of their possessions destroyed.

Jumper said there was five feet of water inside the home.  Newswatch 16 spoke to the couple six months ago when they were starting to rebuild.  They were staying just outside the house in a trailer owned by Jumper’s father.

Six months later Jumper said their house is once again a home.  The couple’s friends and family helped them rebuild.

“I had my brother-in-laws come in and they were ripping things apart like it was nothing,” said Holly Jumper.

This chair and two end tables were the only pieces of furniture the family was able to salvage, but through the generosity of others, they were able to refurnish their entire house.

“A girlfriend from Millville texted me and said she had furniture in storage, what did I need? I said I have nothing.  She came with a sofa, a love seat and a television,” said Jumper.

She added the biggest adjustment since the flood has been getting used to the things she no longer has.

“You go to get something and you find out you don’t have it.  My recipes, cookbooks, you just don’t have it. Things like that,” said Jumper.


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