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Wilkes-Barre’s Brookside Levee Repair Complete

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A levee system in a section of Wilkes-Barre heavily-damaged by the historic floods last September has been restored.

Work began last month to repair the Brookside levee system. North Washington Street is now reopened in Wilkes-Barre’s Brookside section. The city had closed the street at the entrance to the community on May 2 in order to perform much needed repair work along the levee system.

Resident Mike Chudoba watched as the daily work progressed.

“They removed part of the dike back there which was unearthed because there was a pipe underneath there that busted,” said Chudoba. “And then from there, there was cracks in the foundation in the wall, so they removed all that and put all new in concrete so it’s structurally sound.”

The Brookside levee system was heavily damaged during the historic floods last September.

Residents said the levee’s gate held but water from Mill Creek came up into the neighborhood through storm drains.

“Our sewer lines, the sanitary lines, backed up and flooded the whole street here and they were digging over on North Washington Street to figure out what went wrong,” said Andy Kotlarchick.

“Manholes blew off so we need the protection here,” said Florence Garbash.

The city said the next step in safeguarding the Brookside section is an overhaul of the Weir Street Pump Station.

Residents said this is an area that needs flood protection and they have the water marks to prove it.

“I’ve been in five floods already, five of them,” said Frank Schall. “It’s a good thing they’re fixing it up, hope we don’t have no more floods.”

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton said the Brookside levee repair work is being funded by both the state and federal emergency management agencies.