As River Level Rises, Farmers Rush to Save Crops

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A farmer in Luzerne County is worried about his crops. The Susquehanna River is expected to rise, flooding his fields.

"We've had the river Susquehanna on our farm many, many times," Larry O'Malia's Farm owner Larry O'Malia said. "Timing is everything. It's hard now."

No farmer wants to see their farm flooded.

"About three weeks ago, when the rain all started we dodged a bullet then," O'Malia said. "The original forecast that date was 25 feet and we got to like 18, so we felt very fortunate, but the rains haven't stopped."

Larry O'Malia's produce farm sits along the Susquehanna River. Heavy rainfall has flooded portions of his farm. With the river expected to rise, he's preparing himself for the worst. He's picking as many of his crops as he can before the water gets any worse.

O'Malia said the crops that are seeing the worse damage because of the flooding are cucumbers, tomatoes and late varieties of corn, which his customers said are some of their favorites.

"(They have the) best tomatoes and corn," Marian Czarnowski of Wyoming said. "I had to come for my tomato fix, and this is really very heartbreaking. This is their livelihood, and it really hurts. I really feel for them."

O'Malia is trying to remain optimistic. He said he'll harvest what he can and hope for a better outcome next year. Still, the loss is hard to handle.

"You really have all of September and all of October that we still pick and that's where your profit margin comes into play," O'Malia said. "(We will) break even maybe this year."

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