WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — For hundreds of people who live near a flood-prone creek in Wilkes-Barre, it was a day to exhale and think about what could have happened.
Eyewitness News asked Barney Street resident, Damaris Duarte, what she thought when the creek was rising.
“Oh, it was very, very scary. I thought the water, the wall was going to come down,” Duarte replied.
Damaris Duarte and her family live right next to Solomon Creek on Barney Street. A street that was under a mandatory evacuation order. They returned home today.
“So, I didn’t wait for them to tell me you have to evacuate. I just went to my sister’s house and thank god nothing happened, it was scary,” stressed Duarte.
Wilkes-Barre City workers removed the flood gates and were cleaning up the roads that cross Solomon Creek. It was a day to assess how the flood response was handled by city leaders, so says, Mayor George Brown.
“We’ve never seen water like we did yesterday, the system couldn’t handle it. The creek area couldn’t handle it,” said Mayor Brown.
That’s why Mayor Brown says, some property owners did get water damage. Overall the creek system, which has seen millions of dollars of improvements in recent years, including new flood walls and high-powered pumps prevented major flooding.
“First of all, we found the walls in the area that were rebuilt did an extremely good job. the pumps, fantastic, they were pumping out water. if the pumps were not working the streets would have been flooded in those areas,” explained Mayor Brown.
The mayor says a special task force has been meeting with residents to find out if they need assistance with any flood-related issues…any help in the aftermath of Ida.