WEST PITTSTON — Two years ago today, many parts of our viewing area were underwater, swamped by historic high water by the flood of 2011.
While many homes and businesses have bounced back from the flood, many others still have work to do. We found the recovery effort still underway Monday in Luzerne County.
It’s the painters on the job now but it has been one project after another at many houses in West Pittston, all part of the work needed to get back to normal after the flood of 2011.
Two years ago, four to five feet of water were in Barbara Edwards’ first floor.
“Sometimes it seems like 22 years and then it seems like I just left yesterday with mud clinging to everything,” Edwards said.
Flood levels in West Pittston were historic. Much of the community was swamped by the Susquehanna River.
Even though there are still empty, damaged buildings and work yet to be done, most are back in their homes.
“But there were lots of helpful people. I don’t know how we would have gotten through it without family and friends and volunteers.”
Just down the river in Port Blanchard, a walk with Joe Bizub is a sad one as he points out empty home after empty home. On the street leading to his house, there aren’t many neighbors left.
Most people who lived in this part of Jenkins Township are taking a government buyout.
“I grew up here, I was born here and you don’t realize. I’m starting to choke up a little bit, but the memories,” Bizub said.
His memory from two years ago is of his neighborhood under water. But he is staying put.
“The first year, year and half was really rough. It was really busy. But now that we’re settled, and you saw the house, it’s all fixed up. I’m starting to get lazy.”
A mobile home community that used to be perched right next to the river. is gone now but still keeping work crews busy. It’s just one of many projects still underway two years later.
“It’s been a feat, it’s still the flood. It ruined a lot of lives,” said Sean Quinn.
For the crew from Shamrock Motorworks, it has been nonstop recovery work with more flood-related jobs on the schedule. And dealing with two-year-old damage isn’t easy.
“Very hard, 12 men, six days a week, every week. It’s just so much stuff, so much stuff.”
People in part of Wyoming County are also still dealing with the effects of flooding two years ago.