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Nearly Abandoned Neighborhood One Year After Flood

JENKINS TOWNSHIP — It’s been one year since the floods of September 2011 inundated an area of Jenkins Township near Pittston. 

A neighborhood off River Street was only reachable by boat or by air after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Lee sent the Susquehanna River to record levels.

One year later, Joe Bizub shows off his backyard garden. The bright flowers show only a few signs of life in this neighborhood, and Joe is only one of a few people who rebuilt their homes.

“I`m just waiting for the decision on the buy out. I can`t go through this again, you know what I mean? It`s bad. In fact right now I`m worse off now than when I was fixing` the house,” said Bizub.

“Because I was born here. I was raised here. My mother had it and I had it after her and that`s it,” said Rosalie Romanuski after asked why she also stayed.

Like Joe, Rosalie said she’s waiting to hear how much money the government will offer her and her husband Charles on a buy out before deciding to stay or leave. The two neighbors are surrounded by empty and abandoned homes.

“You don`t have your neighbors and you come back and you know someone`s gone. It`s not the same. You got to start living all over again like you went elsewhere to live,” said Romanuski.

“I miss a lot of people. A lot of people were young, but the others were old timers. Guy on the end we were friends all our lives we played together as kids,” added Bizub.

For Joe, the most difficult moment in the last year comes now, many months after completing all the repairs.

“This right here. The decision to stay or leave.” Reporter: “And that`s a decision you`re still going through? That`s hard.” “That`s hard on me,” said Bizub.


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