Flash Flooding Leaves Swamped Cars in its Wake

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SCRANTON -- Folks washed out by flash flooding assessed the damage Tuesday and began the cleanup.

People are dealing with flooded basements and swamped cars after severe thunderstorms swept through our area.

Some people in Scranton were under feet of water Monday and are now busy cleaning up the damage.

People who live on Phelps Street just off Wyoming Avenue say just 24 hours ago rushing water was up over the tops of their cars. Many of them are totaled now. And it's only more bad news for a car rental agency around the corner.

The employees at Hertz Rental Car on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton came to work with hoses and dehumidifiers. Their entire inventory is soaked from flash floods.

When the storm rolled through, the conditions along this part of Wyoming Avenue provided the perfect storm for flooding. The road is low and neighbors say drainage is poor.

"This is the worst I've ever seen this," said Joe Fanucci. "We did get floods but this is the worst. We haven't flooded in years, in years, never like this thing."

Hertz wasn't the only place with car trouble. Neighbors on Phelps Street say when the storm started, the water moved parked cars.

"I had a lot of things planned for today, too. I don't know what's going to happen."

Nathaniel Scott's car had water up to its roof. All he can do now is wait for it to dry out. He says his insurance policy won't cover any of the damage.

"I can't be mad at nobody. If I could be mad, it wouldn't be worth it. It's just like something just happened, just like that."

Tim Buckley showed us cell phone video of the view from his front porch.

"Less than 30 minutes, less than 30 minutes we were underwater," said Buckley.

About half a dozen of his neighbors have totaled cars like him, and even more had flooded basements.

"Just trying to recover from it, that's the biggest thing, you know? We didn't expect it, that's for sure!"

Back at Hertz, they're waiting on a delivery of new, dry rentals that they will need later this week.

Friday is going to be really busy so I'm just hoping to have enough cars for Friday. It's an unexpected event that God sent to us, you know? What are we going to do? Just work together and just get it cleaned up," said Hertz manager Amanda Hill.

A squeegee was the most valuable tool at an auto body shop along Olive Street. Once flash floods receded, Stanley Wilkins found lots of leftover mud and water damage.

"You sit back and do a little retrospect and you think, 'Man, that happened in a matter of 15, 20 minutes.'  Thank God, somebody was here to actually say, 'Hey, get out of the back.' Someone was here. If I wasn't here, what else could have happened?"

Matt Mather and his racing buddies call their garage "the cave." It's where they fix up their race cars that need a lot of work before a race this weekend.

"A lot of loss in tools, a lot of stuff I've had for a long time that means a lot to me. Dave's the same way, but you got to get over that," Mather said.

Storm damage was dramatic. Elsewhere in the city, water rushed through Lackawanna County's Gateway Center. The offices on Jefferson Avenue will be closed all week for cleanup.