Shickshinny’s Flood-Damaged Homes Torn Down

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SHICKSHINNY -- A flood-damaged neighborhood in Shickshinny is now unrecognizable. Homes are being torn down in the borough, a result of the devastating floods of 2011, and even all the way back to 2006.

Brick by brick and scrap by scrap, homes in Shickshinny are being torn down and cleared out after storms in 2006 and 2011 pounded the borough.

Between this week and next, Stell Enterprises will tear down 14 homes along Main Street, Canal Street, and Susquehanna Avenue. One of those homes is Lillian Kresge's.

"It breaks your heart when you think how you enjoyed living where you were. But you have to watch that river," said Kresge, of Shickshinny.

Like many on her street, at least half of her home was destroyed by last year's flood. Shickshinny Code Enforcement declared the home unsafe. Since then, she's been living in a temporary housing unit in Salem Township.

However, it was her choice to have FEMA buy out her house in Shickshinny and tear it down, a decision she says she felt forced to make.

"You had to because who's going to buy it? If you fixed it up to sell, no one would buy it. It's by the river," said Kresge.

Don Hargraves will also see his home torn to pieces in the next few months. He watched as demolition workers leveled his neighbors' houses, preparing for his turn.

"It's always sad. But sometimes you have to face reality. And the thing is, it's time to leave," said Hargraves, of Shickshinny.

The first phase of demolition in Shickshinny will continue through next week. More homes are expected to come down here in the spring.