Market Street Bridge closed, flood barriers up


WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Projected river levels dropped during the day, but many in the Wyoming Valley weren’t taking any chances.

The projections from the National Weather Service have come down from a forecasted high of 34 feet in Wilkes-Barre. All along, the Eyewitness Weather Team has been forecasting minor to moderate flooding, though nothing serious enough to overwhelm the levee system.

Still, crews from Forty Fort, Kingston and the Diamond City converged to build the barrier and close the iconic Market Street Bridge.

“It’s very important, because if things were to change. You don’t have all that much time to assemble it. So now is the optimum time ahead of the storm that already came to get it done.” said Wayne Mitchell, supervisor, Luzerne County Roads & Bridges.

The sight of the earliest crews? A surprise for some.

“When I saw the cranes, I was actually traveling to see my mom lives in Plymouth,” said George Gavrish of Kingston.

Gavrish was thwarted from an early Christmas surprise. But he brought his son to check out the barrier being built up. It’s personal for them as Gavrish’s son was born just months after the big flood in 2011.

“I’m really surprised at the barriers going up because I heard 30-32 feet after the 11, I’m good. Do they say about 40,” Gavrish said.

Spectators popped in along the river to see the aluminum wall. Many of them getting a sense of safety on Christmas Day.

“You feel more comfortable with that, you know, the local people that are in charge of making sure everyone is safe that they are taking the precautions,” said Janice Dimirco of Wilkes-Barre.

If COVID-19 wasn’t enough to deter travel for the holiday, those who’ve seen high river waters before say take it as a sign.

“It’s 2020,” Dimirco said.

“Sit tight,” Gavrish advised. 

And, “Stay home,” Mitchell suggested.

The water levels in Wilkes-Barre are now projected to rise to 30 feet or so. That means there will still be some impacts on the other side of the river, namely upstream of the North Bridge but starting at the courthouse. 

The Market Street Bridge is expected to be closed through the weekend. Eyewitness News was told the barrier won’t come down until the river level begins to lower significantly.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Interactive Radar

Map Center








Wind Speeds

Wind Speeds

Extended Forecast

Extended Forecast

Dew Points

Dew Points

Weather Headlines

More Weather

Eyewitness News is the only local television station with the WeatheRate Seal of Approval. WeatheRate is a company that compares television weather forecasts with the actual weather, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

WeatheRate has certified that Eyewitness News on WBRE, WYOU and has had the most accurate forecast year after year since 2008.

We've got the area's largest team of meteorologists working to keep you and your family safe in all kinds of weather. With a combined 45 years of experience forecasting the weather for Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania, we're certified as the most trusted source for local weather information.

So when you need serious, accurate weather information, there's only once place to turn - Eyewitness News.

Trending Stories

Top Stories

More Top Stories

Latest Videos