Workers in Schuylkill County are taking advantage of this dry spell to do flood prevention.
Crews are cleaning out a creek that has flooded five times in the last eight years.
PennDOT is best known for maintaining roads and bridges. Now the agency is tackling a flood control project in Pine Grove.
Crews were digginghout sand bars and other debris near a bridge. Four bridges are part of the project. The idea is to allow the free flow of Swartara Creek. A lack of debris could help prevent the waterway from backing up during heavy rain.
Ed Sadusky is in charge of the project. “It will wor. Everything should go through the water. Nothing should hang up as longs as we don’t get the trees. If nothing blocks up there is less chance of flooding ,” Sadusky said.
Jim Clark runs the Pine Grove Street Department and said he has seen his community flood. Clark likes the project. “It’s going to let a little more flow go through. Time will tell, but I think it will be a great help for us,” Clark said.
Herb Hoy watches the project and predicts it won’t prevent flooding. “They done this two years ago and it didn’t mean anything. There is just too much water ,” he said.
Flood victims Newswatch 16 talked with hope the project does some good.
Kathi Heberling said she remembers last years flood affected her family. “I lost my car. I had 18 inches of water on my first floor. It was nasty. We walked out holding on to one another because if we left go because the current was so strong lord knows where of where we would have ended up,” Heberling said.
Flood victim Derek Schaeffer said he knows the PennDOT project will not fix all the issues and they may see more high water like they did last year. “My wife and I stayed here. We rode out the storm. It was kind of scary because everything that was coming down the creek was going through our yard,” Schaeffer recalled.
Pine Grove officials know the PennDOT project won’t fix all the flooding problems. There is no word if and when other sand bars which help create flooding will be removed.