Flood Damage Hurting Businesses in Part of Lackawanna County

OLD FORGE, Pa. -- Some businesses by the Lackawanna River say they're still suffering from this week's flooding even after the waters receded.

They say customers may not know they're still open.

Part of Lonesome Road was washed out by floodwaters on Monday night. PennDOT is working to fix it, and the road may be closed for a few more weeks.

But the businesses on this stretch of road are still open.

Ever since the Lackawanna River came up over Lonesome Road this week, E-Lane's Diner hasn't had a flood of customers.

"Monday night, Tuesday we had to close, there was no opening, they wouldn't let anybody on the road," said owner Elaine Vass. "Wednesday we opened again. but, like I said, I didn't make enough to pay my help. So, we're just opening I guess as a courtesy!"

Business has been dry, but not directly because of the flood damage.

While PennDOT works to fix the road, drivers may not know that the businesses on Lonesome Road are still open.

"My business is less than half of what it is," Vass said. "We need signs here to let people know they can get in this side of the road."

Elaine and her fellow business owners have asked PennDOT for more signs letting drivers know they can use part of the road.

As of Wednesday afternoon, PennDOT had replaced an original "road closed" sign with a smaller one reading "road closed ahead". Businesses hope customers get the message.

This is deja vu for Bloomin' Idiots Garden Store. It suffered two years ago when PennDOT closed a bridge over the river for more than a year.

"It's just rough going through it all the time, you know?" said Jackie Bower. "We're just really coming back from the bridge closures. We had a great spring, people more and more are aware that everything's open and now, PennDOT, they don't know when it's going to be done."

PennDOT expects work to take at least a few weeks. It will depend on the extent of the damage.

Businesses hope Lonesome Road isn't lonesome for very much longer.

PennDOT officials say the road closed signs are so far up to prevent tractor-trailers from turning down the road and not having enough room to turn around.