Dickson City roads under water as flash floods hit NEPA

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DICKSON CITY, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Portions of Dickson City are seeing flooding, as rain continued to fall through most of the afternoon on Wednesday.

Officials say that rain needs to stop before they can truly assess the damage. They believe a large tunnel that runs under the city into the Lackawanna River may have gotten blocked, creating messy conditions on Wednesday.

“It’s pretty bad and who knows what it did underneath,” Jay Bolash, a Dickson City resident said.

Borough Manager Cesare Forconi tells Eyewitness News, a tunnel runs underneath Scott and Dundaff Streets leading rain runoff into the Lackawanna River.

“We can assume, we can’t get into it right? That culvert got blocked by debris because of the rain that came down so quickly. It must have logged big stones and debris and trees and such,” Forconi said.

According to Forconi, the culvert was put in during the 70s, but long-time resident Bolash hasn’t seen anything like this.

“I’ve been here 60 years and I’ve never seen anything like this before. Not in this area right here. It never really has been a problem. The creek is just right here below us, but I’ve never seen it overflow,” he said.

The tunnel is large, about ten feet wide and five feet high.

“So, it would take an extremely large amount of debris in order to block that up to the point where the water was physically coming out of the manhole six to eight feet high,” Forconi said.

It will take days to assess the damage and to make sure nearby structures weren’t compromised.

“And then we’re gonna have to get a contractor to come in there and start the operation of removing the debris,” Forconi said.

That means it will be weeks until the street reopens, leaving a long road ahead for residents in Dickson City; including nearby restaurant owner Francis Ghilardi.

“Last year we pivoted to all curbside pickups of take-out order. And as of this morning, the curbside has drifted away. So, I’m not sure how folks are going to get to us to pick up those orders,” Ghilardi said.

PennDOT is in charge of the cleanup of Dundaff Street. Borough roadwork will need to be done on Scott Street to make it passable.

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