WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — As we sit on the eve of the 50 anniversary of the flood of 1972, many in the community are displaying different memories from the historic event in Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding area.
A local university that was greatly impacted by the flood, pulled out its archives and created a walking tour.
“Buildings were lost, buildings were damaged but we came back,” said Dr. Greg Cant the President of Wilkes University.
When Hurricane Agnes flooded the Wyoming Valley, Wilkes University, formally Wilkes College sustained more than $10M worth of damage to 58 buildings.
“It’s a really important part of our history mainly because of the resilience that showed of our campus,” said Gabrielle D’Amico the Executive Director of Communications for Wilkes University.
Step back into June of 1972, with a self-guided walking tour.
“You have a description of the building, the historical value of it, some various shots of kind of the crisis as it was unfolding,” explained D’Amico.
There are 12 stops across the campus. Showing how the college community came together to recover and rebuild.
“But also allows them to hear what the experiences were like of the people that lived through it,” added D’Amico.
At each stop, scan the QR code to access the interactive website. Listen and read along about the history of each building.
“I was just reading something there some facts I didn’t know. There are lots of facts buildings all over campus, including our house has the story in front of it. So come and have a look around campus, it’s beautiful this time of year, and read about our disastrous days 50 years ago,” stated Dr. Cant.
Those who take the tour can compare pre and post-flood photographs side by side and listen to firsthand accounts. And possibly share your memories too.
“One of the interesting parts of this project is we are going to hear hopefully new memories from people that we don’t know of,” D’Amico added.
It’s about a 30 to 45-minute self-guided tour.