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Susquehanna Life

Special Report: The 2011 Flood

Jul 25, 2014 04:39PM ● By Erica Shames
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) played an instrumental role in assessing flood damage for rescue efforts undertaken by the Federal Emergency Management Authority and the National Guard. Some of that activity was carried out from the Williamsport Airport in Montoursville by regional CAP members that included Maj. Carl Jenkins and Capts. Ron Adams and Geoffrey Knauth.

Students from Bucknell, Bloomsburg, Susquehanna and other universities regionwide canvassed neighborhoods, knocking on doors of stricken residents to offer assistance. Neighbors helped neighbors. Everyone did what they could to help. What follows is just a glimpse of some of the devastation the region experienced last September. The bright spot? We all came together toward one common goal: to emerge safely from a natural disaster.

Central PA Comes Together

Photographs by Geoffrey Knauth, Craig Lawler, Len Bodnar, Erica L. Shames and Gordon Wenzel


(An overview of Montoursville) When Dr. Carl Jenkins learned how to fly airplanes four years ago, he “wanted to have a purpose for my flying. Civil Air Patrol gives me that opportunity.” One of the main functions of CAP is search and rescue. (photo credit Geoffrey Knauth)


(greater bloomsburg) Bloomsburg Fair buildings closest to the river are nearly entirely covered by water; the fair was cancelled and the airport flooded. “Some planes were damaged,” noted Dr. Jenkins. “In some cases their engines had been pulled out for repair; in others, people simply couldn’t get their planes out due to the weather.” (photo credit Craig Lawler)


Flooding at Bucknell View trailer park, on the east side of the Susquehanna River, in Milton. (Photo credit: Craig Lawler)


Mattresses awaiting students at Bucknell University’s field house. Students in some dorms and apartments, particularly on 6th Street which abuts Bull Run Creek, were evacuated and housed in makeshift quarters. (Photo credit: Gordon Wenzel)


Covered bridge at Manheim Farm Show Building on Adele Avenue, over Chickies Creek. (Len Bodnar, Lens Images)


At Lewisburg, the flood waters nearly topped the old railroad bridge. (Photo by Erica L. Shames)


The Susquehanna River creeped ashore, impacting homes and businesses. (Photo by Erica L. Shames)


Time seemed to stop as neighborhoods emptied out and neighbors congregated to witness the flood. (photo by Erica L. Shames)

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