Mayor Declares Parts of Williamsport a Disaster

WILLIAMSPORT — The mayor of Williamsport declared parts of his city disaster areas because of the damage from flash flooding over the weekend.

The basement of a house on Memorial Avenue in Williamsport has more than two feet of water in it. Greg Crouse owns the home, and says it looks better than it did on Saturday when there was at least eight feet of water in the basement.

“It’s quite a bit of damage, insulation, wiring. Until we get them dried out, we won’t know,” Crouse said.

Saturday’s storm dropped around four inches of rain on parts of Williamsport in about two hours. Williamsport’s mayor declared parts of the city disaster areas because of the damage. The declaration is a first step toward asking Lycoming County for financial help.

Patrick McNutt is an adjuster for Travelers Insurance. He inspected some cars on Memorial Avenue, and says most of them are totaled.

“This one here runs but it’s got water up to the seats. There are too many liability issues for later on down the road. We’re not able to fix this car,” McNutt said.

Lynn Burkhart worries her car will meet the same fate.

“I have water in my car. It pushed it up on the curb, so I don’t know if it’s going to start or what’s going to happen,” Burkhart said.

Saturday’s storm tore up some of the streets in Williamsport. City officials tell Newswatch 16 that crews will spend the next two to three weeks clearing the debris and fixing the roads.

Officials say many of the basins and drains were already blocked by debris from Thursday’s storm–and that debris led to Saturday’s flash flooding.

“You just don’t expect it. People don’t get out and move their cars in time. Water comes up and it only takes a couple of minutes and it’s above your wheels. It’s too late to do anything,” McNutt said.

Williamsport officials say they do not yet have a total dollar amount of damage from Saturday’s storm, but they it say it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars just to fix the roads.