WYOMING, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Many people in our area grew up hearing the stories of how their families lives changed during the Agnes flood. Eyewitness News Reporter Madonna Mantione sat down with her mom and grandmother to remember June of 1972.

Madonna’s grandmother, or ‘nana’ as she calls her, showed her pictures of the home she built with her late grandfather in Wyoming.

It’s where they raised Madonna’s mom and Uncle Al for just a few years until Hurricane Agnes washed it away. Leaving only polaroids and memories behind.

“This baseball field now stands in the place of what was once a beautiful Wyoming neighborhood called Colonial Village. It’s where my family, and others who lived here, lost everything in 40 feet of devastating floodwaters in 1972 during hurricane Agnes,” WBRE 28/ WYOU 22 Eyewitness News reporter Madonna Mantione explained.

Agnes brought days upon days of heavy downpours. Madonna’s grandmother says she can still hear banging on the front door in the middle of the night, officials telling people in their community to evacuate.

“The borough officer said, get out of here now. Don’t worry about packing anything, just save yourself because we’re gonna get flooded. Still didn’t know exactly how much water we were going to get, nobody knew then,” stated Lillian Laffey, Agnes flood victim and Madonna’s Grandmother.

Madonna’s grandparents grabbed a few important documents and left with their two young children. They stayed with relatives outside of the flood zone. Her mom recalls saying goodbye to all of the dolls and toys in her childhood bedroom.

“It was like a scene from a horror movie, you were sitting in this car, my mom and dad and my brother, and it was dark, it was very dark, and we were scared. And all you could see is just car lights lined up for miles,” added Donna Laffey Mantione, Agnes flood victim and Madonna’s mom.

They would never see their home the same way again. Madonna’s mom remembers being glued to the tv screen watching flood coverage on the news. Once the water subsided, they were allowed to return. But it wasn’t ‘home’ anymore.

“When I walked in my house, I said, this is not my house. It cannot be. I was in disbelief that it was my home,” Lillian said.

“I heard her wail and scream. She just screamed. It was horrific, it was chilling, it was very traumatic,” added Donna Laffey Mantione.

Everything was destroyed and covered in mud. The house was swept off the foundation. Human remains were scattered throughout the community from the Forty-Fort Cemetery.

“On top of my house, there was a coffin with a body still in it,” Lillian Laffey recalled.

“The smell from the mud and the sewer water from the river was just horrible, and that smell never leaves you,” Donna Laffey Mantione said.

Madonna’s nana, grandpa, along with her mom and uncle lived in a trailer outside their damaged home for nearly a year after the flood. The family then moved to their new home in Laflin.

Although it was heartbreaking to rebuild their lives from the ground up. Madonna’s mom says there was​ a silver lining.

“Even though we lost everything, we still had each other,” stated Donna Laffey Mantione.

Madonna says she’s very thankful to have been raised by the two strongest women she knows, her mom and grandma. Their stories of perseverance and hope during the Agnes flood will live on in her family for generations.

“The flood is over, but the memory stays with me forever,” added Lilian Laffey.