WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- The metal floodgates along Solomon Creek in south Wilkes-Barre were upgraded in September as part of a $10 million project to repair and enhance flood protection here.
Now, firemen and DPW workers are trying the floodgates out, making sure they are good to go when they are needed.
“When this creek comes up, we don’t have the luxury of time. It comes up very, very quick. And rather than being here at 3 o'clock in the morning practicing this, we wanted to pick a good day. It's very unsafe doing this work, and it's labor-intensive so we thought we would pick a good day where it's safe for our crews to be able to do this rather than coming out here at 3 o'clock in the morning with the creek rising,” Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney said.
People who live in South Wilkes-Barre are happy to see the training take place.
“It's very important. This is prone to flooding when the creek gets up high, and this is really important as well as the walls that were just done,” Mike Belusko of Wilkes-Barre said.
The fire chief tells Newswatch 16, during weather events, he and others keep an eye on Solomon Creek. If the water gets to 5 feet on the gauge, they mobilize crews to bring out the gates.
“Once these gates are closed, the water can actually go over and continue to flow down into the Susquehanna River, so we've used them in the past, and they're effective they are really important for this neighborhood,” Delaney said.
“Glad to see that they're doing a test run. Glad to see that our firemen and our emergency responders have it down to a science if you will, and I’m happy to see that they're getting it done,” Belusko said.
Emergency crews say everything fits together as it should. When these gates are needed, they are confident they'll get the job done.