Forkston on Slow Road to Recovery
Six months after flood waters devastated our area, places are still on the hard road to recovery.
In Wyoming County, one rural community was hit especially hard.
Forkston actually flooded before the major flood on September 8.
That township got walloped during Hurricane Irene in late August and then had to deal with even more flooding from water Irene left behind.
The Mehoopany Creek crashed through Forkston in late August after rain from Hurricane Irene caused it to swell.
It washed out the Windy Valley Road Bridge, stranding the people living on the other side.
Now the Mehoopany runs calm and a temporary bridge stands in its place as plans for a permanent one are moving forward.
But it’s been a long and frustrating recovery for the people of Forkston.
Tom McGlynn said he`s still concerned with all the debris left in the creek.
“All the gravel bars exist in the creek, still. All the trees are still piled up,” said McGlynn. “There`s been no intends to clean out the creek bed by any state or government agency. I think the problem is it`s too massive to be dealt with.”
After Irene left, a temporary gravel bridge was put in place.
That washed out as well in September when the Susquehanna River rose to record levels.
Residents trapped again had to escape by walking a tight rope as supplies were shipped to those staying behind.
McGlynn said he`s not waiting for another flood. His house used to sit on the bands of the Mehoopany Creek. Now he’s moved his house roughly 100 yards inland.
“We pulled it off in nine weeks, unbelievably,” said McGlynn. “It weighed 71 tons and we used two cranes to pick it up and we put it on the back of a truck, we drove it out here on a road that I built and set it on a new foundation.”
Forkston Township Supervisor Frank Miner said the recovery effort has been exhausting.
Forkston’s park, ball field, and township building still remain in a state of disaster.
But Miner said the township is still waiting on FEMA money so the clean-up can begin.
“Why is it taking so long to get the funding to clean it up?” asked Miner. “We’ve had the contract in place, it`s down in Harrisburg being reviewed. It’s going to cost $44,000 for someone to come in an clean it up and as a township, we can’t afford that.”
Miner said the contract to build a new bridge on Windy Valley Road goes out for bid later this month.