For the borough of Montoursville, last year's flood has meant cleanup, outreach, community support, reconstruction and ultimately a sense of moving ahead and embracing the future.
"We're getting along," said Mayor John Dorin.
When many people consider the borough and the September 2011 flood, they ultimately think of Montoursville's west end where homes and businesses near Loyalsock Creek were inundated by water.
SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
A section of Montoursville is under water after last year’s flood.
But to really witness the kind of devastation Mother Nature can wreak upon a community was to see what happened to some infrastructure at that end of the borough.
The creek's roiling waters destroyed the railroad bridge spanning the creek and uprooted parts of Mill Street running alongside the stream.
The bridge has been dismantled and reconstruction of Mill Street is nearing completion, according to Dorin.
"The design of a new railroad bridge is almost done," he said. "The bridge is supposed to be done by 2013."
The mayor is hopeful that Mill Street work will be done early this fall to allow motorists to reach and use the boat dock along the creek.
Dorin sounded an optimistic tone in talking about Montoursville.
He noted the positive strides in the 200 block of Broad Street, which sustained some of the worst of the flooding.
Just this summer, Plocinski's Barber Shop threw caution to the winds and opened its new business there.
Shake 'N Ink tattoo parlor reopened at 190 Broad St. after flood waters forced the owner to close his business next door.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency came through to purchase three properties in and around the 200 block of Broad Street devastated by flood waters.
And the mayor said there may be at least one other property buyout at some point.
He remains hopeful that the community will once and for all get a dike built along the creek to prevent future flooding.
A feasibility study was done, but money is needed to construct a dike.
"Once we get that in, we aren't going to have the 200 (Broad Street) block problem," he said.
But for all the problems Montoursville sustained from flooding, the mayor couldn't be happier for the outpouring of community support shown to victims.
Our Lady of Lourdes Church, he noted, opened up its doors as volunteers organized to collect donations and other items for people.
"There was tremendous response," he said. "Other people from the community helped out. We had a good corps of people. We evacuated people from elderly housing successfully."
Dorin said everything came together as if the borough had always had a plan.
"It worked out, and we minimized the hurt and the heartbreak," he said. "They generated groups of people for workforces. That came out of Lady of Lourdes. And other church groups came forward as well."