Disaster centers available; Wallis Run work begins

KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette State Department of Transportation crews work on an emergency bridge across Wallis Run on Tuesday. The bridge over Wallis Run was washed out on Oct. 21.

Flood victims and emergency crews continue to labor in the wake of the damage left behind by the Oct. 21 flash flooding in the region.

A number of families were affected as damaged roads, bridges and buildings brought day-to-day life to a grinding halt for many.

Here are updates on a number of topics related to the flooding:

Roving disaster relief centers

Roving disaster recovery centers are available for those affected by the Oct. 21 flash flood to find information about their current situation and needs.

Disaster relief still is underway throughout many affected areas in the county, and for the rest of the week the roving centers will be in three different locations.

They are:

• Ralston Volunteer Fire Co., 10970 Route 14, Ralston, from 10 a.m. Tuesday until 8 p.m. Wednesday.

• Lycoming County Department of Public Safety, 542 County Farm Road, Montoursville. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

• Plunketts Creek Township Building, 179 Dunwoody Road. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The agencies available at these roving centers will include Lycoming County Assessment, county planning, county zoning, county soil conservation, the Department of Public Safety, the state Department of Health, the state Department of Environmental Protection, the state Department of Transportation and the Red Cross.

Additionally, the state Department of Health will be offering tetanus shots on Thursday at the Department of Public Safety office.

Wallis Run bridge

Work continues to move forward on the Wallis Run bridge as a temporary bridge was constructed and opened Monday, said Dave Thompson, PennDOT community relations coordinator.

Thompson said the span will enable residents in the area to have access to their homes.

However, Wallis Run Road is still closed because of a soil slide just up the road from the bridge, Thompson said.

The complete damage to the road is still being assessed and it is unclear when Wallis Run Road will be reopened, he said.

Another temporary bridge will be constructed over the winter, Thompson said, as the current “crossing is made up of a series of pipes.”

Homes damaged

A total dollar amount for the flood damage still is not available, said Matt McDermitt, director of administration and chief clerk for the county.

However, an updated figure of primary homes affected has been released. A total of 111 homes were damaged by the flash flood, of that number, 45 were simply affected, 51 had minor damage, 11 had major damage and four were destroyed, McDermott said.

These are primary residences that are occupied year-round.

Sunoco pipeline

Crews continue to work 24 hours a day on the emergency repair of the Sunoco gasoline pipeline that was damaged during the flood and spilled roughly 55,000 gallons of gasoline into Loyalsock Creek.

According to Sunoco Logistics, the repairs will take about two weeks to finish and residents in the area should expect to hear some noise from the construction zones.

Sunoco also has released the following updates:

• Water monitoring results continue to confirm safe drinking water supplies.

• Air monitoring continues to detect no hazardous levels.

• Water and air monitoring will continue under the supervision of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, state Department of Environmental Protection and the Lycoming County Department of Safety.

• Per the direction of the DEP, soil removed near the damaged pipeline is being tested to determine proper disposal methods.

• Sunoco Logistics will continue to work with government stakeholders to help alleviate erosion and other flood damage in the immediate area where possible, following additional DEP engineering reviews.

Donations needed

According to the Lycoming County Sheriff Mark Lusk, flood victims are in need of the following items:  shovels, garden hoses, nozzles, garden rakes, buckets of all sizes, squeegees, disinfectants, work gloves, window cleaner, Gatorade and napkins, paper plates and plastic silverware.

Individuals who wish to donate any of the above items can take them to the Eldred Township Volunteer Fire Co. in Warrensville, Lusk said.