GREAT BEND TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- One week after floodwaters wrecked homes and businesses in Susquehanna County, the driving forces behind a park in memory of a soldier killed in action hope to rebuild as well.
Spc. William "Billy" Evans Memorial Park near Hallstead was damaged one week ago. All the damage was done in a few hours when torrential rains sent the DuBois Creek crashing out of its banks, tearing through the neighborhood, and through the heart of the relatively new park.
"I thought it'd be OK. Then shortly after that, that's when it all come up over," said Bill Evans.
Evans lost his son in 2005 in Iraq. Then he lost the place that remembers that sacrifice to flooding. The only thing left standing is a rock that bears Billy Evans' name.
A group of men spent eight years making this park a reality. They raised money, did the hard work, and opened it along the creek with a walking trail just last year.
"The worst case we'd get water on it. We weren't fools; we thought it'd get flooded in the future but thought we'd be able to wash it out and clean it. But it was the force of the water this time that just ruined everything. It was just a raging river," said park organizer Joe Gaughan.
"It's a shame. It's gone, but we need funding to get it back, and I know it'll happen," Evans said.
Donations are being accepted at the Peoples Security Bank branch in Great Bend Township and other locations in Susquehanna County to bring back something so meaningful.
"Now we've got a park we can walk in, the community, it's been a great thing really," said park organizer Ken Westcott.
Donations have been pouring in since the weekend at Liberty Travel Centers in Susquehanna County.