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Thunderstorms Lead to Flash Flooding

CLARKS SUMMIT — Severe thunderstorms left parts of Lackawanna County under a few feet of water.

Folks in the Clarks Summit area saw severe flash flooding after the storm stopped.

Within minutes, rush hour traffic on Northern Boulevard near Clarks Summit was at a standstill. Fire engines blocked the way for drivers as the major road became a river.

Employees and customers alike stood inside the Gourmet Dinner and watched as the parking lot filled with a few feet of rushing water.

“It was like a river, a river in the parking lot and nobody could get in or out. The patrons, they were afraid to leave because they didn’t know if they were going to make it out of the parking lot or not,” said Esther Townsend.

Marilou Sarr of Clarks Green and her coworkers didn’t get out of their parking lot just next door. While they waited for the water to go down, they also waited for a ride since their cars were flooded out.

“I came out and at that point I couldn’t get to the car. It was running down here like, worse than the Susquehanna on a flood day. I couldn’t believe it,” Sarr said.

More than a mile of Northern Boulevard was closed when the flooding was at its worst. Traffic couldn’t get through, and people who work in the many stores here couldn’t get out.

“I couldn’t come down the road. I actually had to park up the road so my car would be protected from the flood and I walked through this water. So, it was quite a surprise. I’ve never seen it flood so much before,” said Joshua Palumbo.

Nearly everyone we spoke to said the same thing, though this place often sees rain runoff, it’s not often like this, flooding that stranded hundreds for more than an hour.

“It was really scary, that’s what a flash flood is. I never knew what a flash flood was but that’s what it is,” said Joni McKenna of Clarks Summit.

Just as quickly as the water came, it receded leaving debris and a few broken down cars, but fortunately no injuries.


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