BLYTHE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — All this recent rain has taken its toll on people and property in Schuylkill County but one woman’s struggle to keep up with flooding is heartbreaking.
In fact she was trying in vain to flood-proof her home before the weather hit Wednesday evening. People are learning that flash flooding has a way of bringing any underlying infrastructure problem to the surface. One woman is living in fear of what the next heavy rain will do to her home.
“We have been working three solid weeks now trying to recover from what has happened and we just can’t get ahead of it,” Verna Elo said.
When storm clouds roll in, they churn up stress and fear for Elo as she scrambles to protect her property from further damage.
“I dug this whole drainage ditch down through here and to the creek,” Elo said.
She says with every heavy rain, water finds its way into her basement and yard. Trying to prevent it is a losing battle, and she’s fighting it on her own with an injured ankle while her husband recovers from COVID-pneumonia.
“The property damage is just continuing to get worse,” Elo said.
The alley next to her house is supposed to let the rainwater flow to the creek behind her backyard. But she says after a sewage project 15 years ago, the water started flowing into her property instead, and several sinkholes have had to be filled.
In the last couple years, her front porch had to be raised and reinforced, her pool that her grandson used for physical therapy was washed out, and she had to tear up carpet in her basement. She recently discovered water was running under her basement floor.
“What next? If this has already fallen three inches on this entire side of my house, what is washing away under there? Is my foundation good?” Elo said.
She wants the sewer authority to get to the bottom of it. She says she’s been in contact with officials, but she’s still waiting for something to get done.
“Find out where the break is that the ground is giving out everywhere and we’re having sinkholes and my property is shifting,” Elo said.
Elo also says the alley needs regrading to keep the water from flowing into her property. Eyewitness News reached out to Schuylkill Valley Sewer Authority and are waiting to hear back.