Digital Exclusive: Two areas known for flooding avoid damage amid tropical storm

Digital Exclusive

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– Two areas known for extreme flooding escaped Tuesday’s bad weather relatively unscathed.

Both Tremont and Gilberton had heavy rains but no flooding. Officials tell Eyewitness News storms like Isaias are concerning to them as they replicate conditions much like those that caused Tremont major flood damage in 2018, and Gilberton in early June.

“A lot of people were flooded. And really when you have a lot of rain coming down at one time, you know it’s hard to predict who’s going to get hit and who isn’t,” Tremont Mayor Roger Adams said.

John Matz, the Schuylkill County Emergency Management Coordinator, says Schuylkill County is different than other counties.

“The rest of the counties in this area you know they’re dealing with the Susquehanna River that runs through it. You know where we have streams and rivers that eventually will flow into the Susquehanna basin or into the Delaware basin,” Matz said.

But those streams and creeks are the constant cause of concern for some boroughs.

“Once it gets so high it starts seeping through the ground underneath the railroad bed and that’s when we were starting to get the water coming through,” Frank Jackowiak, Gilberton Emergency Coordinator, said.

Officials say the flooding in Gilberton in June was worse because of nearby bridge construction that caused the creek to be more backed up than usual. The trouble spots in Tremont include Spring Street, where a creek runs behind houses, and Claly Street, where water comes down the mountain. But what’s the solution? In Gilberton…

“New pumps. Three of them which is, there were three of them in that pump house. It’d be nice to see all three working at capacity, not partial capacity. We’ve had this thing dredged out but keep it dredged but where it’s lower then the rest of the water coming in,” Jackowiak said.

And in Tremont…

“You only can do so much with what FEMA and PEMA gives us because you know we only can spend it you know we only can spend it where they tell us we can spend. That’s the big issue right there,” Adams said.

Mayor Adams says any kind of help is of use to build up the creek and the borough’s home owners.

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