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June 18th

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Issue Home June 28, 2006 Site Home

’06 Floods Devastate County
County Was Hardest Hit
Harford Considers Flooding

Courthouse Report
Blue Ridge Appoints Tax Collector
Business As Usual... Well, Almost!
Rail–Trails Closed
Red Cross, Blue Ridge Respond To Floods
Great Bend Hears Road Complaints
Gibson Barracks Report Compiled by Bill Liepinis
SCSD Completes Successful Year

’06 Floods Devastate County

Despite extended forecasts of continuing rain for the week of June 26, it seemed that no one was prepared for just how much rain the county received. By some reports the amount of rain our area saw exceeded those of Hurricane Agnes in 1972, Tropical Storm Ivan in 2004 and the flooding of April, 2005. Some reports said that our area had not seen so much rain since 1902. In just a few days, rainfall totals exceeded what the area normally gets over a three-month span.

By Wednesday morning, most of the county’s communities had declared a state of emergency, and many roads were closed. By Thursday, the National Guard arrived in various areas of the county to deliver water and other needed supplies, to guard dangerous areas, and to just help out. One young man remarked that, just days ago he had arrived home from Iraq. One can only imagine the sense of unreality he surely felt, after spending months in the desert and coming home to a virtual water-world.

In the words of one emergency responder heard over the scanner on the night of June 27, “This is unreal. This is just totally unreal….”

There are so many stories to tell.

There are heartbreaking stories. Large areas of Lanesboro, Hallstead, Great Bend, New Milford, and Little Meadows almost completely under water, as well as large portions of many others. Roads washed out, bridges gone, mud slides. Emergency vehicles stuck in rising waters. “Sight-seers” in areas where they shouldn’t have been, some needing rescuing when they got too close to rushing waters. Storm systems so overwhelmed that manhole covers flew off and could not be re-placed. Emergency centers not opened because people were just not prepared, people unable to get to them when they were, and make-shift shelters being opened to take care of those forced from their homes. Basements flooded, buildings needing to be evacuated, some washed away entirely. Sewer systems backing up. Water supplies compromised or not operating. Intermittent power and phone outages.

There were many, many stories showing the best aspects of the human race. Emergency workers forced to (reluctantly) go home when they reached the point of exhaustion. Emergency personnel doggedly searching for the drivers of abandoned vehicles who had ignored warnings of closed roads. Folks with boats mobilizing to aid in rescues of those who could not get out of flooded areas. People spending long hours into the night clearing ditches to keep homes from getting flooded. People braving the driving rain to direct traffic away from flooded or washed out roads. Networks providing information about friends and family members to let those who care about them know that they were all right. Neighbors checking on each other and bringing food and clothing to those in need.

As with any major event, there are humorous stories as well. My favorite one was about a restaurant owner who realized that many boro officials, emergency responders and volunteers were working long hours to do what had to be done. She went to the restaurant to prepare coffee and sandwiches for those who were working so hard through the night. Without being called, the wait staff showed up, and began taking orders from regular customers who also showed up, in spite of the front lights not being on and the “open” sign not being put out. Life does go on…

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Just a few of the many photos we received can be found on page

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County Was Hardest Hit

With the waters receding from the Summer Flood of 2006, county residents are finally getting a clear view of all of the damage that left no part of the county untouched. EMA coordinator Mark Wood tells the Susquehanna County Transcript that we are now in a full recovery stage. Although the entire county was affected by the flood, Wood’s main focus is on the Great Bend, Hallstead and New Milford area, as well as Susquehanna, Oakland, Lanesboro, Little Meadows and Apolacon Twp.

Waiting for word of a possible disaster declaration at the federal level, Wood is coordinating not only local resources, but assistance from Harrisburg and The National Guard. “I believe that Susquehanna County was the hardest hit in the entire Commonwealth.”

The EMA says that the emergency shelter at Blue Ridge will stay open for as long as it is needed. Water buffalos and bottled water are still being trucked in to some places like the Great Bend United Methodist Church.

Mark Wood wants county residents to know that the County EMA is in full force. “We are doing the best we can to get to everyone.” If you have flood damage, you are asked to call your local emergency coordinator and municipality.

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Harford Considers Flooding
By Ted Brewster

Harford had already absorbed nearly five inches of rain by the time township Supervisors met on the evening of June 27. Anticipating still more rain, the Supervisors wasted no time disposing of a brief agenda, which included a driveway permit, an assessment permit. There was also a subdivision, to which Supervisor and township Secretary Sue Furney was a party, so she abstained.

Roadmaster George Sansky left early to continue examining the roads. To those who hoped for quick repairs to local roads, he said that digging would only make a road worse until the rain stops and the roads have a chance to dry out. There was a report that roads in the Podunk area were already impassable due to flooding along Butter Creek.

Supervisor Rick Pisasik summed up by saying, simply, "We're taking on a lot of water." And the meeting adjourned barely ten minutes after it began.

The next day, Harford residents had to consider themselves lucky, compared to families living along the Susquehanna River, and businesses in the Hallstead area that were flooded to record levels. U.S. Route 11 was effectively closed between New Milford and Binghamton. Most of Conklin, New York was completely under water. Coast Guard and military helicopters buzzed overhead all day. And emergency workers were busy throughout the area helping to evacuate some and rescue others.

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Courthouse Report
Compiled by P. Jay Amadio

Courthouse Report

Compiled by P. Jay Amadio


Bank One (trustee) to Allan Kazmierski, Paula Kazmierski, RR1, Forest City, in Clifford Township for $74,900.

William J. Brenner, Jr., Donna D. Brenner to Andrew Bellow, Joan M. Bellow, Mt. Vision, NY, in Ararat Township for $155,000.

Lawrence T. O’Reilly, Christine M. O’Reilly, Thomas J. O’Reilly to Carl J. Farley, Dalton, Carl P. Farley, in Lenox Township for $65,900.

Deborah E. Jones to Donald L. Fenner IV, RR2, Kingsley, Chantell L. Fenner, in Brooklyn Township for $110,000.

Eldora J. Randall to Carl A. Sinnett, Orlando, FL, Ruth Sinnett, in Great Bend Township for $14,000.

Lois B. Latta (estate) to Kim E. Fialcowitz, Westfield, NJ, Robert Fialcowitz, Robin Benito, Ross S. Latta, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Lois B. Latta (estate) to Kim E. Fialcowitz, Westfield, NJ, Robert Fialcowitz, Wayne B. Latta, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Richard H. Osborne, Harry C. Osborne, Gary L. Osborne, Shirley A. Osborne, Susan K. Martel, Sandra M. Skiba to Kenneth VanGorder, Springville, in New Milford Township for $84,792.

William C. Schillinger, Assimina Tsouti Schillinger (by attorney) to Dale A. Wagner, Orlando, FL, Wanda I. Wagner, in Bridgewater Township for $16,000.

Thomas R. Dooley, Anne A. Dooley to Steven J. Detwiler, Essex Jct., VT, Cindy L. Detwiler, in Susquehanna for $125,000.

Ellen Brown to Marjorie Marvin, Hallstead, in New Milford Borough for one dollar.

Ronald Trudel, Jr., Heather A. Trudel to Frank J. Sparacino, Philadelphia, Tamatha A. Sparacino, in Silver Lake Township for $283,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to John Abruzzo, Annapolis, MD, Pamela J. Abruzzo (aka) Pamela Abruzzo, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Sarah K. Alford, Greenfield Center, NY, Stephen D. Bott, George C. Bott, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Apul L. Barnhart, Nichols, NY, Kevin E. Barnhart, David W. Barnhart, Thomas K. Barnhart, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Craig J.G. Benson, Dewitt, NY, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Stephen C. Bott, Arlington, VA, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Arthur Ceccato, Warren, NJ, Tyra-Lynn Ceccato, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to James R. Clayton, RR1, Thompson, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Marie Edwards, Waldwick, NY, Bruce T. Edwards, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Bernhard Foerster, RR1, Thompson, Sharon Foerster, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Jean Kenworthy Giavedoni, Oakland, NJ, Richard Giavedoni, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Francis J. Glodek, RR1, Thompson, Astrid W. Glodek, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Reed L. Grosvenor, Peckville, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Stephen Guszick, Lake Ariel, Louise Guszick, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to John S. Hacik, RR1, Thompson, Marie Hacik, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Kenneth D. Hoffman, RR1, Thompson, Jackie L. Hoffman, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Thomas Huettenmoser, Martinsville, NJ, Maureen Huettenmoser, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Paul S. Johnson, Verona, Glenn E. Johnson, Gail K. Ferrer, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Bernard Kilpatrick, Browndale, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Vito M. Lalli, Dunmore, Jill Lalli, in Ararat Township, for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Robert Mancuso, Nicholson, Thelma J. Mancuso, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Martin Family Limited Partnership, Peckville, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Robert E. Mehmet, Haddonfield, NJ, Bernadette M. Mehmet, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Joseph P. Murray, Scranton, Janet E. Murray, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Andrew N. Nikish, Schwenksville, Donna Lynn Nikish, Richard Thomas Smalley, Karen A. Smalley, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Margery E. Parker, Orefield, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Walter J. Petro-Roy, Lansdale, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Frank R. Puglia Jr., Patchogue, NY, Michelle M. Puglia, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Robert S. Rhodes, Hanover, NH, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Richard A. Riley, Boise. ID, Peter M. Riley, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Thomas A. Rivenburgh, RR1, Thompson, Carolyn Rivenburgh, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Joan M. Seeley, Valley Forge, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Paul Sly, Langhorne, Barbara Sly, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Edwin Strauss, Philadelphia, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to John P. Stapleton, Wyndmoor, Patricia S. Stapleton, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Robert R. Ullman, Swarthmore, Minnie L. Ullman, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Rollin C. Williams, Jr., RR1, Thompson, Alice E. Williams, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Pamela Underwood. RR1, Thompson, Jonathan T. David, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Ronald J. Edwards, Beach Lake, Debra L. Edwards, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

Fiddle Lake Properties LLC to Gary A. Gray, RR1, Thompson, Mary A. Gray, in Ararat Township for $1,000.

David E. Ahlbrandt, Brenda L. Ahlbrandt to Ivan Guzman, North Massapequa, NY, Maryann Guzman, in Oakland Borough for $2,500.

Patrick B. Coleman (estate) to Richard G. Heilala, Lawton, in Rush Township for $85,500.

Eric Wheaton (by attorney), Mary Wheaton (by attorney) to James Barnes, Feasterville, in Bridgewater Township for $45,000.

Mary B. Pratt, Helene B. Shibley, Donald D. Shibley, Michele B. Thomas, Lloyd E. Thomas, Theresa M. Underwood, Theresa M. Underwood, Leroy James Pratt, to Thomas P. Depiano, Flemington, NJ, Peggy A. Depiano, in Brooklyn Township for $340,000.

Dennis P. O'Brien to Gladys M. O'Brien, Kingston, MA, in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Dennis P. O'Brien to Gladys M. O'Brien, Kingston, MA, in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Michael H. Helm, Jr. to Eric N. Jordan, Dunmore, Joseph J. Gentile, Jr., in Herrick Township for $53,500.

Janet Mead, Nicholas G. Serafini, Jr., Mary A. Serafini to Robert Mead, Delray Beach, FL, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.

Francis C. Cerra, Joan M. Fortuner, Al Fortuner to Richard M. Brunori, Peckville, Ann A. Brunori, in Herrick Township for $25,000.

Richard F. Hadlick, Corina Hadlick to Richard F. Hadlick, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.

Community Bank & Trust Company to Thomas J. Lopatofsky, New Milford, Donna M. Fekette, in Lathrop Township for $54,000.

Elizabeth Ambirge (estate) aka Elizabeth M. Ambirge (estate) to Richard A. Flynn. Great Bend, Gwendolyn M. Flynn, in Great Bend Borough for $33,000.

Rita J. Kiefer to Fritz Guelly (living trust), Hop Bottom, Gisela Guelly (living trust) in Lenox Township for $100,000.

Patrick M. Mankovich (by sheriff), Debbie L. Mankovich (by sheriff) aka Deborah L. Mankovich (by sheriff) to Fairway Consumer Discount, Luzerne, in Forest City for $2,309.

Charles A. Reeck (by sheriff) Karen M. Reeck (by sheriff) aka Karen M. Muench-Reeck (by sheriff) to United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Philadelphia, in Gibson Township for $2,094.

Secretariat for Education & Project Planning at Broome County Inc. to Kime Apartments Corporation, Binghamton, NY, in Great Bend Borough for one dollar.

William J. Collins, Arlene R. Collins to Anthony James Rock, Scarsdale, NY, in Harmony Township for $179,000.

Elaine Rowlands to James J. Rowlands, Forest City, in Forest City for one dollar.

Elaine Rowlands to James J. Rowlands, Forest City, in Forest City for one dollar.

Barbara Mackachinas, Stanley J. Mackachinas, Barbara A. Pochec (nbm) to Zbigniew Skurzok, Loch Sheddrake, NY, Katarzyna Skurzok, in New Milford Township for $82,000.

James S. Wheaton, Marjory A. Wheaton to Phillip C. Wheaton, RR1, Montrose, Barry J. Wheaton, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Robert Kerr, Audrey Kerr to Thomas R. Kerr, RR1, Montrose, Cheryl E. Kerr, in New Milford Borough for one dollar.

Robert H. Kerr, Audrey Kerr to Thomas R. Kerr, RR1, Montrose, Cheryl E. Kerr, in New Milford Borough for one dollar.


Kevin J. Cowperthwait and Nicki Denice Cross, both of RR3, Susquehanna.

Jason M. Gabriel and Jessica Marion Brewer, both of RR2, Kingsley.

John R. Transue and Amy Jo Paoliecci, both of RR1, New Milford.

Charles R. Primich and Renee Susan Graham, both of Greenfield Township.

Michael R. Trexler and Melissa B. Carrelli, both of Vestal, NY.

Shannon G. Rafferty and Keris L. Smith, both of RR1, Montrose.

Gary F. O’Neil and Susan Porter, both of Binghamton, NY.

Matthew Scott Depue and Rebecca L. Krause, both of RR3, Montrose.

Mark John Hunsinger, and Jennifer Annette Fauver, both of RR2, Kingsley.

Christian Anthony Capotosto, Friendsville, and Valerie Lynn Brand, Montrose.


Jane E. Carley, RR4, Montrose, vs. James D. Carley, RR5, Montrose. Married on September 22, 1979.

Christopher P. Guyette, Silver Lake Twp. vs. Chanice A. Guyette, Binghamton, NY. Married on April 4, 1998.

John Gregorio, Endicott, NY vs. Lyndell S. Reid Gregorio, Afton, NY. Married on December 27, 1978.

Sherry L. Russell, Springville vs. Joseph P. Russell, Mehoopany. Married on June 8, 1990.

Michael Collins, Lake Barrington, IL vs. Lori Collins, Great Bend. Married on August 23, 2002.

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Blue Ridge Appoints Tax Collector

As the second meeting of the month, it was supposed to be a workshop. But the Blue Ridge School Board had too much business to decide on June 26, so the workshop took a backseat to a business agenda that had not one, but two addenda, the first of which appointed a tax collector.

But first the Board had some other matters to take care of, the most surprising being the resignation of Nino Bennici. Mr. Bennici, a very popular figure at Blue Ridge, has been at the core of the Blue Ridge music program for most of his 18 years there. Last week it was announced that Mr. Bennici had accepted a job at Lathrop Street Elementary School in Montrose. Blue Ridge High School Principal John Manchester said that Mr. Bennici's move was for family reasons.

With the additional resignation of David Angeloni, Guidance Counselor in the Elementary School, Blue Ridge now has at least four job openings. In addition to High School Music and Elementary Guidance, the district is looking for a Facilities and Grounds Coordinator and another aide for the pre-Kindergarten program.

At the request of Facilities and Grounds Committee chair Harold Empett, the Board approved spending an additional $26,653.60 on the parking lot expansion behind the Elementary School. Although the original project covered the handling of water runoff, an extension to the design was considered desirable to allow runoff to flow in a different way, which would also produce a better appearance.

The Board approved a "preliminary" contract for drivers of the large buses (a preliminary contract was approved earlier for the new micro-bus program). According to Board President Alan Hall, the contract is based on enrollments; drivers will run all the routes before final agreements are negotiated. Mr. Hall said that cutbacks due to declining enrollment should save the district about $150,000 per year, with more cuts expected next year. At least one contractor will lose about $43,000 of business this year alone. In addition to the mileage cutbacks, running buses with more students in them will allow the district to claim a full 100% reimbursement from the state for its transportation expenses, where the level is now only about 75%.

According to Business Manager Loren Small, the fuel adjustment program established last Fall to help drivers deal with rapidly rising fuel costs, will be continued, although there is legislation in Harrisburg that may eventually make the adjustments statewide. Mr. Hall lamented the cutbacks for bus contractors, saying that it's "always tough to do the right thing for all the taxpayers."

Those taxpayers may be dealing with Sharon Warner soon. The Blue Ridge board approved an item appointing her "district tax collector as needed for the 2006-2009 term." Ms. Warner is Mr. Small's Assistant Business Manager, and the board's action did not include any additional compensation.

The wording of the motion is significant. Some of the district's elected tax collectors are refusing to collect taxes for the 60 cents per bill the district is offering. A couple of others are suing the district for cutting them out of the business; a judge has already denied the complainants an injunction that would have stopped the district from collecting its own taxes.

So, since tax bills have to go out real soon now, the district's attorneys advised the board to appoint someone to fill the role. The motion includes the clause "as needed" just in case someone decides the district's board can't really do that after all.

Ever since the Blue Ridge board announced (on Valentine's Day 2005) its decision to offer the elected tax collectors an 80% reduction in their income, the status of collections following last year's elections has been a little ambiguous. So, when you receive your school tax bill this summer, pay close attention to where you're supposed to mail your check.

If you're still unsure, you can sit in on the board's next meeting, scheduled for Monday, July 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.

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Business As Usual... Well, Almost!
By P. Jay Amadio

Only a handful of county employees showed up for work at the courthouse last Wednesday. Some departments were closed, others were manned by a department head or a skeleton crew.

But the 911 Communications Center and the Emergency Management Department had their hands full and some dispatchers worked around the clock on Tuesday and Wednesday. After Art Donato, 911 Communications Coordinator, managed to muster up some additional help, the dispatchers started taking turns grabbing 40 winks on cots that were brought in for them.

“We had five dispatchers on duty where we normally have two,” Donato said, “and we managed to keep up with the steady stream of incoming calls.”

Commissioner Mary Ann Warren and Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer spent the night in the courthouse after they were advised that all roads leading out of Montrose were closed.

The regularly scheduled meeting of the county Board of Commissioners was held on schedule last Wednesday, although Commissioner Roberta Kelly was present via a conference call. Because of the flooding, she could not get out of her hometown of Susquehanna Depot.

Brevity set the tone for most of the meetings as the commissioners hurried through shortened agendas, focusing attention only on items that required quick action.

The commissioners accepted the resignation of Christine Jones as secretary/planner in the Planning Department. In follow-up action, they ratified the hiring of Ms. Jones by Susan Eddleston, Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts. Ms. Jones will serve as Second Deputy Prothonotary.

In another personnel matter, the commissioners ratified the hiring of Edgar Harden of Great Bend to the non-union position of part-time security guard.

Meeting as the Salary Board, the commissioners set the rate of pay for Christine Jones at $9.70 an hour as provided in the court-related union, and agreed to pay Harden $8.20 an hour and no benefits as provided in the county payroll grid.

The Board also approved a recommendation from Sheriff Lance Benedict to create a third fulltime deputy sheriff position. The new person will work 37.5 hours a week at an hourly rate of $9.70 in accordance with the union contract.

At 11:30 a.m., Warden Bill Brennan reported to the Inspectors of the Jail that he has a prison population of 54 men and 11 females. He said he has a security force consisting of 23 fulltime correction officers and five part-time.

The inspectors again heard Jim Jennings plea for around-the-clock shift commanders but Chairman Jeff Loomis said it may not be done until the current union contract expires at the end of 2007.

In a security move, the inspectors agreed to a recommendation from Warden Brennan for additional cameras. Brennan said he would like cameras installed in the cell blocks and along the hallways.

“The money is not in the budget,” Loomis said, “but we will do it because it will be good for security.”

The inspectors fired Terry Singer, a corrections officer at the jail for some 15 years. The reason was not fully disclosed but Loomis did say it was for a “severe infraction.”

“We were told we cannot talk about it because he filed a grievance,” Loomis said. Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer said Singer has filed a grievance but the union has not yet accepted it.

Jennings told the inspectors that a lot of issues were brought to their attention at the last meeting and were “glossed over.”

“They were not glossed over,” Loomis said. “They are being addressed and will be dealt with by the end of the year.”

The inspectors recommended that the commissioners hire Gary Haskell as a fulltime corrections officer. The commissioners are expected to act on the matter at their next meeting on July 12.

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Rail–Trails Closed
Submitted By Lynn Conrad

Both the D & H and O & W Rail–Trails have sustained a lot of flood damage from Simpson to the New York State border. There are many washouts, irregular and loose surfaces. The trails will remain closed until damage can be assessed and repairs made. Please stay off the rails until further notice. Updated information will be posted on the website

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Red Cross, Blue Ridge Respond To Floods
By Ted Brewster

The American Red Cross was on top of the situation in Susquehanna County. With the help of staff at the Blue Ridge School District, they set up shop as a shelter on Wednesday, just as the flood was getting serious. Early the next day an 18-wheeler dropped off a trailer loaded with supplies. And then a second truck arrived with more. The driver of that one said that he lived in Georgia but had been all over eastern Pennsylvania moving cots and other supplies among shelters in Schuylkill Haven, Wilkes-Barre and now New Milford.

The maintenance crew at Blue Ridge turned out in force to ensure that custodians were available to help keep the buildings clean for whoever showed up for help. They helped unload the trucks, set up cots in the cafeteria in the Elementary School, some hallways, and the air-conditioned auditorium. Food service staff, already set up to prepare lunches under a federally-sponsored summer food program, had plenty of ham-and-cheese and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for hungry clients and volunteers. Later in the day they served a delicious pasta supper.

The Red Cross was prepared to offer three meals a day, overnight care with cots and blankets, food, as well as other kinds of assistance at the shelter. Stacks of cases of gallon jugs of bottled water were available; the school itself is supplied with its own wells and could offer showers to people without water at home.

By early evening on Thursday, only about four people were settled in for the night. More had been expected from Mountain View and the Kime Apartments in Great Bend. The weather was lovely after several days of discouraging rain, and many residents were expected to find their own accommodations.

Most of the afternoon, however, families streamed through the facility to take advantage of the showers, and to pick up some water for use at home.

The shelter was opened by local Red Cross volunteers Brenna Aileo, Bill Printz, Nancy Blaisure and Gloria Teel. Regional Red Cross workers arrived late in the day Thursday to help out.

The Great Bend Hose Company welcomed the assistance of emergency services from all over the state, including Pennsylvania Urban Search and Rescue teams, and even a group from Johnstown. They seemed to have plenty of food at the firehouse in Great Bend early in the day, Thursday. Several were trying to catch a few winks on litters and in the backs of ambulances.

There's a lot of trouble in these river cities right now, but there are also plenty of people eager and willing to help. Blue Ridge was long ago designated an emergency shelter for the eastern part of the county. The administration and local emergency services organizations recently reviewed the accommodations, and the procedures they might have to follow. All that preparation came in handy during this watery week.

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