Friday, September 9, 2011

My Home Town & Region Hit By Massive Floods

Large parts of Hershey, Pennsylvania which is my home town and central Pennsylvania are flooded. As of last night, 5 lives have been lost, including a man in Hershey who died when he was bailing water out of his basement, and it collapsed around him. Another woman drowned in her car in Lancaster County, while truly heroic fireman saved with no time to spare the lives of 4 others, including an 18 month baby, caught in the same roaring water that turned a country road into a death trap.

Waters are to the roofs of many businesses and homes. Roads and bridges have been severely damaged and blocked, including as of yesterday Interstate Route 81 north bound and the Pennsylvania Turnpike for a portion east of Harrisburg.  Mudslides are a regional hazard.  Damages run into the billions of dollars.

Flood waters overwhelmed Zoo America in Hershey, where the staff saved most animals, but 2 Bison could not be reached, were drowning, and had to be shot.  Boil water advisories are in place for many communities as a significant number of water and sewer plants are damaged or knocked out of service.

Friends and neighbors are dealing with real loss.  Pennsylvanians are a tough, caring, brave people standing on generations of greatness.  Those qualities are the rock in the troubled waters and will be the foundation for the recovery ahead.

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