NE Pennsylvania rallies after weekend storms – Pennsylvania Capital-Star

SCRANTON – The sun was shining when Susan Berkoski, her mother, and son left her house on Saturday. By the time they came home, flood waters from heavy rains had washed away the Ransom Township couple’s driveway and opened up a sinkhole in their yard.

Before the night was over, she watched as a fire truck had to be towed out the flooded roadway.

She’s trying to keep things in perspective. “Yeah, we still have our lives and health,” she said. “I didn’t lose my chickens or my dogs. Luckily our house is good. Just lots of property loss and damage.”

Lackawanna County officials declared a state of emergency on Sunday, a day after strong, long-lasting storms killed one woman, closed at least a dozen roads and damaged many properties.

According to The Scranton Times-Tribune, the unidentified woman who died had been brought to Geisinger Community Medical Center around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Coroner Tim Rowland hasn’t offered other details.

The aftermath of the hours-long storm left debris on roads throughout Clarks Summit, Dalton, Dickson City, Newton Township, Ransom Township, South Abington Township, and parts of Scranton as workers attempted to repair damaged areas.

Both north and southbound lanes of state Route 11, a major artery from downtown Scranton to several local suburbs, was still closed Sunday night from Dickson City to South Abington. Even a lane of Interstate 81 in Clarks Summit was restricted Sunday.

Matt Williams, who lives in North Abington and has a company in Dalton, said he hopes people are understanding as insurance and government agencies respond.

“Resources are going to be spread thin,” he said.

This weekend was the worst flash flooding he has ever seen, he added. “I think a lot of people were caught off guard,” Williams said. “We were having a quiet evening and it started raining, and it just kept going.”

Berkoski is worried the road in front of her house will collapse. She’s also waiting on the township and insurance so she can begin to piece back her property.

Meanwhile, she’s watched her community come through. Neighbors and onlookers have stopped by to see what they can do to help out. One even helped move rocks from the area so they have a place to move their cars.

“Honestly it means the world,” Berkoski said, “When you live in a small town, people tend to come together during times of need. We get busy in our daily lives and caught up in social media. Sometimes we don’t see our neighbors for months, but during a crazy act of nature, we put the phones down and lend a hand.”

Originally published at,by Patrick Abdalla

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