WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Workers at Larry O’Malia’s Farm in Plains Township picked more peppers than they normally do. That’s because they are in a race against rising river levels.
The farm has sat next to the Susquehanna River for three generations. But this year’s harvest was no match for mother nature.
“I think we are 7 inches over what a normal rainfall would be for this time of year,” said Larry O’Malia, the owner of the farm.
Loads of carrots are under water. O’Malia says several young crops may not even survive to the summer harvest. There is also a section of cornfield that is surrounded by water and can’t even be picked. Now, the water is slowly encroaching on the pepper field.
“Normally, you just get a little bit of stuff and keep everything filled up. But, today was about getting as much as you can, as quick as you can,” said Joey Thompson.
The river level was about 21 feet Tuesday, less than a foot below flood stage. More than a dozen volunteers stopped by the farm to lend a helping hand before the water level rises.
“For how tragic this is, these are the things you end up remembering,” said O’Malia.