GILBERTON, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Streets and homes are currently underwater after there was an issue with a bridge construction project combined with last night’s heavy rainfall. Around Main Street in Gilberton, flood waters continue to surround several homes in this area.
We spoke to the mayor and locals about what exactly happened.
Mary Lou Hannon, Mayor of Gilberton, says, “It reminds me of 2006, however, we didn’t get 17 inches of rain, we only got 3 inches last night.”
Enough rain in combination to a construction project issue led to nearly two dozen homes being affected early Thursday morning.
Frank Jackowiak, Chief of Continental Hose Company, tells Eyewitness News, “Water was coming up. Apparently, the creek, the bridge project that they have, they put two four foot pipes in the ground… They are probably blocked and blocking the water from going underneath the bridge.”
Jackowiak says he reached out to the construction company, once the flooding of the Mahonoy Creek occurred, to have them halt the project.
“They keep saying they are doing the best they can, but the water is still not passing underneath those pipes,” says Jackowiak.
Jackowiak tells us nobody has had to be evacuated from their homes, but many basements have been flooded.
Mayor Hannon says she has also placed several calls into the construction company to halt the project but has had no luck.
She says, “I have called different officials and all and there’s nothing they can do to change that, to move the pipe, or to stop it, because that would affect the railroad and everything else.”
Hannon also says she is trying to alleviate the flooding concerns by bringing in pumps from New Jersey.
The mayor worries about her community and has reached out to several residents who have been affected.
“The people that I spoke to already they have water in their basements already, so I’m concerned because if it hits the first floor, they’re going to have to get their power shut off,” says Hannon.
One resident of Gilberton told us her home is so far safe, but any increase in the water level could damage her home.
“It is across the railroad there…. like across from my garage and stuff so… but it’s scary,” says the resident.
Mayor Hannon says she’s here for her residents in any way they need. The Red Cross and Salvation Army also showed up to provide lunch to the firefighters and volunteers for their help.