What’s next for flooded Gilberton

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GILBERTON, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Streets and homes in Schuylkill County remain under water after last week’s heavy rainfall interfered with a bridge construction project.

Monday night, a glimpse of hope from borough leaders in Gilberton as they try to help homeowners under water.

“But not like this. This is unbelievable. I’ve never seen water like this,” Ed Dawe of Gilberton said.

Residents are furious and speaking up after several days have passed and their homes are still under water due to last week’s flooding.

“I want it replaced and I want it replaced with what was lost. I would have flood insurance if we could afford it. They wanted $500 now for flood insurance. That’s why we don’t have it,” Robin Augustine of Gilberton said.

“Not one nickel is going to come out of my pocket,” Joseph Cominsky of Gilberton said.

Borough leaders say they have been meeting with federal officials on what’s next.

“Next hurdle is getting these people some money. That’s going to be the biggest hurdle, getting them some help,” Mayor Mary Lou Hannon said.

“Now something has to be done by Friday. The water’s away from my house, but I can’t take my husband back,” Augustine said.

Unfortunately Hannon says she doesn’t predict the water receding until at least Saturday.

“With the water coming in, it brought in silt. It’s all over the floor. I don’t have a finished basement, you must understand, but there it is. I still go down to that basement. I don’t want to track it through my house,” Dawe said.

In the meantime, borough leaders are asking community members to get tetanus shots, take pictures of their damage, and create a list of items they need replaced.

“We don’t know what’s in the water, first of all. There’s a lot of contaminants. I don’t know firsthand what’s in here, but I know people have oil and chemicals in their homes,” Hannon said.

“We understand you guys are in a situation that no one ever wants to be in, so what we’re working on is seeing if we can do some type of non-financial drive. The borough is going to take care of your money donations,” Mayor Michael Zangori said.

Volunteers continue dropping off food and cleaning supplies to help in any way they can.

The borough is going to start a GoFundMe for all victims related to this flood. It will be divided equally when all of the money comes in.

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