Flooding Fears in Columbia County

COLUMBIA COUNTY -- The stress level in Columbia County is going down Thursday morning as emergency management officials say river levels are slowly receding.

Workers at a water treatment plant in Bloomsburg are relieved to walk into dry floors in their buildings on Thursday.

They were concerned over nearby Fishing Creek which also affects a lot of neighbors in Bloomsburg.

After seeing some of the problems caused by water from the Susquehanna River around Bloomsburg's Town Park, Barb Martz says she's finally feeling some relief.

"This is a new day no rain, hopefully, all day. Hopefully, it'll dry out a little bit and the water will recede and people can go back to their normal lives," said Martz. "If you were around in 2011, you know how bad it was. And we all kind of just live with that concern all the time. And anytime it just rains and rains for days we just worry."

The in 2011 is why the water treatment plant in Bloomsburg next to Fishing Creek took preventative action, to be able to handle a wet mess like the one that hit this week.

Because of flooding that happened in 2006 and 2011, Suez Water Pennsylvania ended up building a new water treatment facility above flood stage about 200 yards from the old plant.

Workers say this new building was the end result of a $40 million investment to make sure when flood waters from nearby Fishing Creek hit, people in this Columbia County community would still have drinking water.

"We staffed the plant for 24 hours so we had a good handle of what was going on. We didn't experience any troubles," said Tate Hunsinger of Suez Water Pennsylvania.

Neither did Steve Shannon Tire and Auto in Mount Pleasant Township. Newswatch 16 stopped by there Wednesday night after workers basically cleared the place out because of potential flooding.

The family told us Thursday morning the shop was spared.

"We didn't get any which is a first in a flood. We moved everything out now we have to put it back," Herb Shannon said.

"We say praise God for that," Martz said. "It's just going to go down and hopefully it doesn't come back again."

But despite the constant risk for flooding around here, Martz doesn't plan to move. After all, this is home.

"This town's beautiful. We come here. I walk every day. It's just a beautiful beautiful town. Who wouldn't want to live here?"

The Susquehanna River, along with other nearby creeks, is expected to crest below flood stage in Columbia County.

However, there could still be some minor flooding in low lying areas and even ponding on a few roads. Overall, things are improving.

For a list of area road closures, click here.

Check river and stream levels near you.

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