Flooding causes problems in Elk County

Local News

ELK COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– Flooding overnight and Friday morning causes problems for people and businesses in Elk County.

In Ridgway, flooding caused six businesses on Gillis Avenue to shutdown.

Rachel Wolfel of Ridgway is on the flood resilience committee for the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission.

“We have multiple residents, multiple businesses, multiple industries that are affected by flooding and our goal, overall, is to see if we can get the funding to make it not as bad,” Wolfel said.

The committee is working to find solutions to prevent the Clarion River from flooding.

Gennaro Aiello is also on that committee.

He’s says this flooding could have been prevented if outflow at the west branch dam was lowered sooner.

“That takes 11 hours to really impact Ridgway because we’re 15 miles downstream,” Aiello said. “So it’s a little too late. If they had done that yesterday, we wouldn’t have flooded today.”

The last major flood in Ridgway was in 2014.

Johnsonburg residents also experienced flooding Friday.

Fuel On in Johnsonburg had to close because over a foot of water got inside.

Emily and James Cosper from American Airflow in Johnsonburg stepped in to help with the cleanup.

“We have to throw away a lot of food,” Emily Cosper said. “Any food that was affected by the floodwaters, anything basically the floodwaters touched has to be disposed of.”

The Johnsonburg Fire Department was first called in around midnight and worked into Friday afternoon.

“So far we’ve done about 10 basements, ranging from 4 to 6 feet of water in the basements,” Chief Bob Dickey said.

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