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Cleaning up after Flash Flooding

The rain came down hard and fast Saturday evening in Lycoming County. About four inches of rain fell in about two hours, flooding streets, stranding cars and more.

The flash flooding caused quite a mess in parts of Williamsport. On Sunday, people got a look at all the damage and started the long process of cleaning up.

It looked like a lake outside Mark Singleton`s home on Fifth and Park Avenues in Williamsport Saturday evening.

The flash flooding sent three feet of water into his basement.

“It just seems every storm drain in an eight block radius just backed up. The water was rushing off of High Street just steadily. It just took us by surprise,” said Mark Singleton of Williamsport.

With gym equipment and other belongings ruined, Singleton said it will take a while to clean it all up.

“Tomorrow I need to go down there and try to use bleach water, disinfect the whole basement and then I need to wipe down everything. So it`s going to be about a four-day process,” he added.

Over on Fourth Avenue and High Street, city crews were clearing storm drains after the torrential rain inundated many in the area, turning streets like High Street into a river.

A block away, neighbors got to work themselves, using shovels and a wheelbarrow to clear what Mother Nature left behind.

“You could see where the water had eddied and swirled and where it had been flowing quickly,” said Joel McDermott of Williamsport. “It`s pretty impressive to see. I don`t think I could pick up asphalt with tools, but apparently a good strong rainfall can pick it up and carry it a pretty good distance.”

At nearby St. Paul Calvary United Methodist Church on Memorial Avenue, the rainfall left water in the basement, and members trying to get rid of the mess in the parking lot.

“I`m going to volunteer and help out wherever I can to clean up because it can happen anytime. There`s nothing you can do, it`s just nature,” said Sandy Stanton of Williamsport.

Nature caused quite a mess on Belmont Avenue after water wreaked havoc.

“I went outside and I looked and it was just pouring down this road, pouring down the back of our house, and I got a little nervous at that point. My other son yelled and we went downstairs and it just broke through all the windows in my basement, came pouring through the basement,” said Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio.

The water receded but there were still so many images sent to Newswatch 16 showing the power and devastation of flash flooding.

“Hope it doesn`t happen again and hope if it does, we`re a little better prepared for it,” said McDermott.

The flash flooding also affected the Lycoming County transfer station off West Third Street.

“Just in that short amount of time, we got about six feet of water. Flooded two of our trucks, they’ll have to be sent out for repair. Flooded our hydraulic system for our push ramp, so that will have to be cleaned out,” said  transfer station operator Bruce Reiner.

The transfer station will be closed on Monday, but garbage pickup will go on as usual.


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