Wet Weather Putting Brakes on Burials at Area Cemeteries

SCRANTON, Pa. -- All the wet weather we've had is creating its own set of problems for local funeral directors.

They say the ground at cemeteries is too waterlogged to hold burials.

As you can imagine, that's putting funeral homes in a bit of a predicament.

At Cathedral Cemetery in West Scranton, all the wet rainy weather we've had is putting the brakes on burials.

Carmine Fiorillo of Solfanelli-Fiorillo Funeral Home in Scranton says the ground is just too waterlogged, making it impossible to dig graves.

“Cemeteries, can't get heavy equipment into certain areas. machinery gets stuck and they'll do, I imagine, irreparable damage to some of their ground and other graves around them and stones,” said Fiorillo. “So, it's a very tricky situation.”

The Carlucci Golden DeSantis Funeral Home in Dunmore is experiencing the same problems and says others are as well.

“Pretty much everyone in the area, all the funeral homes have been, just with all the groundwater being so high, these cemeteries can't get the equipment in to do what they need to do to excavate the graves,” said Anthony DeSantis.

Both funeral directors say it's not uncommon for cemeteries to have issues where graves can't be dug but this current situation s rather extreme.

“Depends on the season, springtime, rainy season but this is I would say unprecedented,” said Fiorillo.

“In the spring we usually have delays here and there for a week or a couple days there, but this just, yeah, it's definitely unprecedented on that part,” said DeSantis.

According to the Diocese of Scranton, it has nine burials being delayed due to wet ground conditions at Cathedral Cemetery in West Scranton.

Carlucci isn't sure when those waiting to buried by his funeral home will be able to be laid to rest.

“Currently our firms have three basically that are on hold until the ground, from what we're told, freezes and then hopefully they can get the equipment in to excavate,” said DeSantis.

The Diocese of Scranton says it is able to bury caskets in some parts of Cathedral Cemetery but there are several spots where graves cannot be dug.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.