Scranton Homes Deal with Damage from Stream Under Properties

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- When it starts to rain in Scranton, neighbors in one block of the Green Ridge section have to keep their eyes on the ground.

Six inches of rain earlier this week caused unprecedented damage from the creek that runs under their properties.

The 1700 block of Wyoming Avenue in Scranton's Green Ridge section is not in a flood zone but many of the neighbors here had seven feet of water in their basements because of something that runs through their backyards.

They say Monday's storm shows why the city needs to fix it.

Al Young and his wife were in their basement Monday night with their Shop Vac ready to clean up what they expected would be an inch or two of water.

"The back door of the cellar literally blew open because of the pressure, and then the cellar just filled up with seven feet of water," Young recalled.

Young's next-door neighbor on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton captured the flooding on security cameras. Their yards became a pool of water in a matter of minutes.

"it's, um, not a good week, very long week," Chris Kennedy said. "Had to get my family out Monday night, because we lost power and gas. So, it's been a stressful week of cleanup and dealing with the entire thing."

All that water came from a hole in Young's backyard that opened up several years ago after he says a culvert carrying a creek below their properties started to fail.

After Monday's storm, there are now six holes along the 1700 block of Wyoming Avenue.

"Now it's painfully obvious, the importance of maintaining the stormwater system," Kennedy said.

Young and Kennedy filed a lawsuit a few years back against Scranton in an effort to force the city to fix the culvert.

"If they had put the proper size pipe in three years ago, a year and a half ago, we wouldn't have run into this problem," said Young.

Young hopes this latest flooding proves that the culvert needs to be fixed soon since it's not just affecting his yard anymore but his home, too.

"Our insurance companies will not pay for a dime, because we're not in a flood zone," he said.

We spoke with the Scranton city solicitor on Friday. She says that Scranton sent an engineering firm out this week to check out the damage. She also says she expects the lawsuit with the neighbors in Green Ridge will be settled soon.

The neighbors on Wyoming Avenue have set up a GoFundMe page here.

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