Flood Recovery in Columbia County
HEMLOCK TOWNSHIP — Clean up of the September flooding is still a daily routine for many people in Columbia County and even though time has passed there is still much work to do.
One year ago water was rushing through the streets of Bloomsburg causing catastrophic damage to many homes and businesses.
Now, 12 months later, residents of Fernville in Hemlock Township are still making repairs on a daily basis.
Charles Shicowich, who lives on Drinker Street, endured 52 inches of water in his house from the flood. He decided to raise the home’s foundation by 10 feet in the rebuilding process.
“Tore all the deck off, had to prepare to get the big beams and everything to lift the house. And I’ve just been going at it ever since,” said Shicowich.
He said he looked at the situation as a new project, since he does contracting for a living.
“I knew I wanted to rebuild, I didn’t want to have it as a buyout. The house basically had good bones and if I wasn’t in the business or in the trade I probably would have took the buyout. But being I do this for a living, I enjoy doing it, I decided to stay and rebuild,” Shicowich added.
Richard Bordner, who lives next door, says he lost many belongings after the flood, but his family has come a long way.
“It’s very depressing because it disrupts your way of life, for the next, you know as long as it takes to get back to normal, and it took us a year,” said Bordner.
The people on Drinker Street will always remember the devastating memories caused by Fishing Creek, but in just 12 short months they’ve finally been able to get back up on their feet.
Bordner says the interior part of his home is finished, now all that’s left is the outside.
“Basically, getting the grass to grow, putting some plants in and getting my garage back in shape,” Bordner added.
Across the river, in the town of Bloomsburg, Chris Beaver says he stayed on the second level of his home the entire duration of the September floods, not knowing what would become of house in the end.
“Back then it was scary, I didn’t know if I would still have it or if I was going to rebuild or what. Now, still needs work, we didn’t get enough insurance money for my garage, or you know the porch still needs a little bit,” said Beaver.
With contractors working hard and friends and family members helping, residents say they’ve been able to move forward since last year, but there is still much work to be done.