The raging Susquehanna River has crested. It happened late this morning when it hit a mark of 32 .75 feet a new record for flooding in Bloomsburg. That exceeds the previous all – time record of 32.7 feet reached during the flood of 1904. Whatever the case... Bloomsburg is surrounded by water. Many residents telling us they've never seen the water this high... and have never seen certain areas of town flooded. The river is forecast to recede slowly... returning to flood stage of 19 feet Monday morning.
Many folks in one section of Bloomsburg had a rude awakening this morning. Around 1:45... the sounds of sirens from police cars and fire apparatus pierced the night air... warning residents to evacuate. Their target area... west of Market... and south of 5th streets. The problem... a wayward ammonia tanks from Windsor Foods. That prompted the evacuation of residents in a one mile radius of the plant. Many the evacuees going with family and friends... or taken to shelters at the YMCA... the Bloomsburg Memorial School or the shelter at the Berwick High School.
The Town of Bloomsburg is operating under an emergency declaration put into effect earlier this week by Mayor Dan Knorr. During a visit to the WHLM Studio's on Thursday... Mayor Knorr says it's simply a way to cut through red tape... quickly. The declaration is in effect until it's no longer needed.
As predicted... the United Water system pipes supplying water to Bloomsburg and surrounding area's ran dry. The company pulling it's pumps from Fishing Creek earlier this week after filling their huge water tanks. The company's Bob Manbeck says he doesn't know when water will be flowing through United Water's system. And once the water is restored... Manbeck says a boil water advisory will be in effect.
President Obama has declared parts of Pennsylvania a disaster area... now that the Susquehanna River is cresting. The declaration covers 42 of the state's 67 counties... and that includes Columbia and Montour Counties... and neighboring areas such as Luzerne, Sullivan, Lycoming, Northumberland and Schuylkill Counties. Obama's action authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures. The direct federal assistance, will be provided pay for 75% of what the counties spend leading up to... and the clean up after the flood.
Getting Reiter back up and running
Reiter is asking all salaried employees to report to the JAM Room at 10:00AM Saturday to begin clean-up. Hourly employees will be notified when it is safe to return to work.