Pa. Creeks Flood Homes, Launch Boat Rescues

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Authorities in Huntingdon County said about 30 homes were damaged and at least eight people were rescued during flash flooding on Tuesday.

Three Springs Volunteer Fire Company member Rick Walker told WJAC-TV that the department used a boat and a large utility brush truck to help rescue several people when a creek rapidly rose out of its banks.

“We got approximately three-and-a-half inches of rain in 40 minutes. The water went from normal levels, to 8 to 10 feet above normal in probably in 45 minutes,” said Walker.

Huntingdon County Emergency Management Agency Director Adam Miller said that substantially more rain than expected fell, affecting communities that haven’t dealt with serious flash flooding since 1996.

“Folks were rescued from the first floor of their homes. With the type of rescues that we had here, it was a challenge for the responders, because this all happened very quickly,” said Miller.

Residents in neighboring Saltillo told WJAC-TV that more than a dozen basements were flooded and Railroad Street was completely submerged.

Laura Slusher said that floodwater reached 3 feet high inside the first floor of her sister’s home, just weeks before her wedding day.

"Your nerves are already shot, planning a wedding, and then to think that your future home is really in bad shape, it's pretty tough,” said Slusher.

Officials said that more than a dozen families in the Valley View Housing Community along Route 747 near Mount Union were affected by floodwater, but no evacuations were necessary

"There was water laying on this side of the dike this morning, and there was nothing on the other side. Whenever the creek came up, the water was already here. That's when all the chaos came in,” said resident Gary Drake Jr.

The Red Cross offered meals and assistance at the Three Springs Volunteer Fire Company throughout the day but closed operations Tuesday evening.

EMA officials said no one was injured during the flash flooding, and many of the submerged roads had reopened as of midnight.

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