Schuylkill County dealing with flooding after Ida

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SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Flash floods led to evacuations and water rescues in Schuylkill County.

Water has receded significantly since 8 p.m. Earlier Wednesday evening everywhere you turned, roads were closed due to flash floods.

In Pine Grove the quickest way to get takeout was to wade through flood waters.

“I’m eating pizza, drinking some alcohol and checking the water levels,” James Eisert of Pine Grove said.

Water levels rose all afternoon as the remnants of Ida dumped heavy rain on Schuylkill County, flooding the roadways. In Tremont, borough officials sent out an alert telling people on Spring Street to evacuate.

“It does make you nervous, I mean you get nervous for everybody else even if you don’t get it that bad,” Clint Cooper said.

Some stuck it out, ready to help their neighbors if they needed it.

”He’s my friend and if he needs help I figured I’d be here to give him a hand,” Cooper said.

Most of them have been through this before. Severe flooding hit Tremont in 2018.

“It was a lot worse then. It really flooded and washed out. There used to be a bridge right here you can see and it washed that totally out. It’s bad enough though,” Cooper said.

In Pine Grove, North End Fire Company reported the Swatara Creek crested over banks in multiple locations around 6 p.m., setting off a three-minute siren warning, telling people to prepare for unsafe conditions and possible evacuations.

“Within 20 to 30 minutes it went from about an inch of water to about a foot and now at the corner it’s about 17 inches,” Eisert said.

Firefighters in Pine Grove say they responded to three water rescues due to flash flooding Wednesday night. That was just in Pine Grove. First responders all over Schuylkill County were busy responding to calls.

Pine Grove and Tremont temporary shelters have closed and the Tremont manager believes they will be able to start pumping water out soon as water levels decrease.

Some schools are impacted by the rain for Thursday. North Schuylkill School District is closed Thursday with virtual learning. The Pine Grove Area School District will be closed Thursday with no virtual learning. Pottsville Area School District is on a two-hour delay.

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