Finally it looks like Harrisburg residents will be able to go home. Following the Tropical Storm Lee flooding, tens of thousands of the residents who were evacuated at the time were told it was safe for them to return home, last Saturday. At the time it was such a tough flood, reports claimed that it was the worst in nearly 40 years, since Hurricane Agnes.
Evacuees Return Home
Before the notice came for these individuals to return home, the evacuation order was lifted in northeastern Pennsylvania for up to 60,000 (of the 70,000 residents) in and around Wilkes-Barre to return home. The Susquehanna River’s level was receding during this time. Thereafter, more were given the go-ahead on Saturday as well as Sunday.
Deaths from Flooding
According to Gov. Tom Corbett, there have been at least seven deaths resulting from the storm. As well, around five deaths were said to be “storm-related.” However, good news is finally in sight as Corbett said at a Harrisburg news conference, “it appears no that the worst of the flooding is over.” He has requested President Obama declare a “major disaster in the flooded counties.”
Along with the deaths, there have been other issues that have arisen as a result of the flood. Finally, things have taken their toll. Indeed, Stephen Bekanich, Luzerne County Emergency Management Agency Director, estimated damage to be in the tens of millions. Harrisburg is still experiencing problems due to the falling river. Officials are still attempting to restore power while crews attempted to repair damage from the storm.
Impact on Harrisburg
Given that there are various roadways closed in the region, this will impact the people of Harrisburg as well. The city’s mayor assured that power will be restored to city residents. Still, around 2,300 residences “remained without power.” But Harrisburg residents can be assured that water will be sent to them – 800,000 gallons of fresh water per day to American Water will be “distributed to metropolitan and suburban areas where fresh water was in short supply. City reservoir water levels remain high and were not affected by the flood.”
Slowly, things are returning to normal for Harrisburg residents. It’s going to take time, but the city and its officials are taking care of things following Tropical Storm Lee and its repercussions.