PICTURE ROCKS - With a population of just under 700 people, Picture Rocks is a community where everyone knows everyone else.
As one resident explained, everyone takes cars to be repaired to Sheets Garage on Main Street and picks up a pizza at Pa-Pa's Pizza and Subs just across the street.
Both businesses have been heavily impacted by the recent flooding along Muncy Creek.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
The ruins of Chippewa Road in Muncy were host to pools containing minnows, with much of the road near its intersection with Route 405 having washed into the field just east of it Thursday morning. The flood waters carried concrete several feet and sheared off a telephone pole before subsiding.
John King, known to many residents as "Mr. Christmas" because of the decorations he sets up each year, owns the pizza place and was among the 30 or so people stranded a few miles north of the borough near Glen Mawr.
King and his wife and children typically spend the summer at a trailer there. Alone this time, King was cut off from everything and everyone after heading to the trailer to check on the property and the family dogs.
After riding out floods there in 2004 and 2006, he said he felt confident he could do it again, never anticipating just how bad things would get Wednesday.
In a span of 20 minutes, the water level near the trailer jumped 3 feet, King said.
"I could hear the water raging," he said. "(Later) I could hear rescue boats but couldn't see them."
"It was scary," King continued. "What do you do? Nothing to do but pray and watch."
King's wife, Kim, said she and other family members lost contact with him after 5 p.m. Wednesday. She spoke with state police who were willing to send a helicopter to rescue John but would not be able to take the dogs with him.
"Letting our dogs behind would have been like letting our two kids behind," she said. "It just wouldn't happen."
John was surprised to see his truck, which had filled up with water to the seat, start. He finally made it back to the borough and planned to head back to the trailer Friday afternoon to see what could be salvaged.
Kim was focusing her attention on the family business. She hoped to have the pizza place, which had some water in the basement, open by Friday evening.
Across the street at the garage, owner Dennis Sheets said nearly 4 feet of water filled the building, destroying several thousand dollars worth of automotive repair equipment.
"We're alive. That's what's important," Sheets said while assessing the damage, unsure where or how to being cleaning the layer of mud caked on nearly everything and the debris strewn about his yard.
Sheets said he stayed at the garage for as long as he could. The water was waist-deep when he left.
As he watched the water rise, Sheets said he was in awe of how quickly it rose and the force behind it.
Among the images that stand out in his mind is a trailer that floated by the garage.
"An aluminum trailer floated down," Sheets said. "I'd have thought that would have sunk like a rock."
Sheets said he plans to clean up and get the garage open again, but said borough officials told him they were trying get assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and he was unsure if he could move anything.
He spent Friday assessing the damage and documenting it with a camera.
Sheets' neighbor, Cyndi Bayley, spent Friday checking on her neighbors, offering to lend a hand in any way she could.
Bayley's home received only a few feet of water in the basement and was spared the damage nearby homes received, several of which received water up to the first floor.
Bayley, who drives a school bus for special needs children, also remarked at the speed, force and amount of water.
"It looked like an extension of the creek," she said. "It made its own path."
Just south of Picture Rocks in Hughesville, Ivan Kepner, manager of the Angus Inn restaurant, spent Friday assessing the situation at the inn.
Muncy Creek runs behind the restaurant and, according to Kepner, reached levels higher than in 1972 with Hurricane Agnes.
Water was inches from the back door but did not come inside the restaurant's first floor, Kepner said. He noted between 6 and 7 feet of water filled the basement, affecting a compressor for one of the coolers.
By Friday morning, Kepner was ready to have the place open again.
"Everything is back up and running," he said. "We're just waiting for the gas to be turned back on."
Behind the restaurant sat three mobile homes that the rushing water crashed into trees.
Kepner said no one was in the trailers at the time, but the residents, having just enough time to get themselves to safety, lost everything.
Those victims, including one family of five, were staying at a shelter set up at the Hughesville High School, he said.