WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — All this week Eyewitness News has been looking back at the Agnes flood, 50 years later.

Agnes forever changed the landscape of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania, but especially the Wyoming Valley.

These are images that will forever be part of the legacy of Agnes. Downtown Wilkes-Barre was swallowed up by the Susquehanna River, flood waters, literally washed away dozens of businesses. Some of those businesses recovered and some did not.

“It was a big part of rebuilding the city, the valley with a heart. What that means is people helping people. We helped each other out,” said Mayor George Brown-(d) of Wilkes-Barre.

Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown says Agnes brought about changes to the downtown that no one could have foreseen.

“We don’t know what the city would have looked like without the flood..50 years later. I mean I would hope that it would be modern like it is today,” said Mayor Brown.

Some of the marquis changes to downtown Wilkes-Barre were the modern, futuristic red metal canopies that covered several blocks of Center City. It was torn down in 2005.

“As time went on the awning became worn and torn and a decision had to be made,” explained Tom Leighton, Wilkes-Barre Mayor from 2004 to 2016.

Tom Leighton served as mayor of Wilkes-barre from 2004 to 2016. He was born and raised in the Diamond City and he believes that development in downtown Wilkes-Barre would have happened with or without the Agnes flood. But, Agnes hastened that process.

“There was a lot of federal money that was made available to revitalize the downtown and that’s when you saw all these new buildings went up,” Mayor Leighton added.

Mayor Leighton led the city through some very close calls with the Susquehanna River as 2011 was nearly a repeat of Agnes.

“Unfortunately when people live here, they don’t recognize and see what we have in the downtown. Beautiful restaurants beautiful buildings beautiful historical buildings in the greater downtown. I think the downtown will become vibrant once again I think sooner than later,” said Mayor Leighton.

The week will culminate with a one-hour special presented by Eyewitness News at 7:00 p.m. On Monday June 20 on WYOU.