In Democracy, the individual enjoys not only the ultimate power but carries the ultimate responsibility.--Norman Cousins
Well, the expected river crest levels were a wee bit off, so Wilkes-Barre still has all of itĎs stubby fingers and toes. Yes indeedy. Outstanding. Can I go to the frigginí movies today, or what?
Initially, I thought the mandatory evacuation order was a bit much. But, in retrospect, Iím figuring it was the correct call. Even if the dikes in, say, south Wilkes-Barre had folded like a cheap imported suit, with the majority of the residents looking on from higher ground, we wouldnít have ended up on our roofs holding up signs for hovering television news helicopters. Nope. No New Orleans going on here. No mass confusion. No mass hysteria. No masses of humanity stranded. No widespread looting. No flooded nursing homes. No flooded school busses. No shots fired. Or, in other words, not a damn thing we can blame on George W. Bush. Gee, that sucks.
Nope. Here in Culm County, the local boys took care of business rather than sitting idly by and then blaming everyone higher on the political food chain for their lack of action.
Nope. Didnít need FEMA. Didnít need PEMA. Didnít need Dubya to federalize National Guard units. Didnít need AMTRAK trains. Didnít need trailers. Didnít need teenagers driving busloads of evacuees out of the flood zone. Nope. Didnít need a single teat to latch onto.
Nope. Nothing here to bash Bush over the head with. So, itís off to the next natural disaster with those leftist fingers crossed. Maybe next time. Maybe somebody somewhere will self-victimize themselves and allow themselves to be used by those looking to score some political points.
Tom Leighton, Skrep and Vodd Tonderheid are all Democrats. And they saw to it that a repeat of Katrina was not going to happen here. What were they thinking? They scuttled a great opportunity to embarrass the president by ensuring public safety during a time of crisis. They had better steer well clear of Howard Dean Ďcause heís sure to scream the lot of them deaf.
Nope. No need for FEMA here.
We have capable leaders.
From The Citizensí Voice:
Gov. Ed Rendell praised the evacuation at a news conference in Harrisburg on Thursday.
"That evacuation was smart, it was proper, it was appropriate, it was made in the name of caution," Rendell said. "With the secondary roads being damaged, had the dikes broken, you could have had a New Orleans-type situation in Wilkes-Barre. They did the appropriate thing."
So, why is it that the Susquehanna has gotten to freaking out so often? Weíve had to deal with this flooding nonsense in very early 1996, late 2004, early 2005 and now mid 2006. Are we seeing a trend here? Ten years and four serious flooding events.
Hereís an e-mail I fired off to Sue Henry at WILK yesterday afternoon:
(There was a major typo in that e-mail. The Susquehanna River at Towanda crested after it did down here at Wilkes-Barre, which is not what typically happens when the river gets to swelling from New York all the way to who knows where. Sorry. I guess I was enjoying way too much of my evacuation supplies.)
This is bullspit, man. A slew of County Sheriffís ordered me off of the dike yesterday afternoon in a very demonstrative manner, but they let this goober do a swan dive off of the North Street (Pierce Street) bridge. Itís patently unfair, man. Itís just not fair.
As I said, if we erect that dam, the absolute worst of the sewage outflows will be completely submerged by the heightened river. And when it rains like all hellÖsewage running through the streets of Wilkes-Barre is a distinct possibility. But donít tell Paul Kanjorski. He has his flawed feasibility study and heís sticking with it.
The long and short of it is, if we continue to pave what little of Wilkes-Barre Township that hasnít been paved over yet, we will flood some community downstream of us. And if they keep paving over the hills and valleys north of us, weíre going to be flooded at some point. Itís simple.
And I like simplicity.
Kayak Dude told me the best time to kayak on the river is right after a high-water event. Heís told me of all kinds of wild debris being beached on islands, stuck in trees and wedged against any strainer that presents itself.
While on the river north of Wyalusing this past January, I saw a dead deer wedged in a tree high overhead. Stupidly, I didnít get a picture. While paddling past a campground at the riverís edge somewhere near Falls, I saw an old International Scout sitting in the river all by itís lonesome. Two weeks ago, while taking in the yearly RiverFest trip, I spied a paddleboat wedged into some trees just north of Forty Fort. We should have latched onto the thing and towed it back somehow. Maybe I could have paddled it back. KD showed us what little remains of a camper trailer that was beached on an island during the Agnes flood where the Wyoming Massacre was once fought. In Ď72 it was almost intact. These days, there ainít much left to see.
Itís a good thing yíall had plenty of beer on hand. Living on the shore of a river prone to flooding, proper disaster planning is a must.
You never know what areas will get pounded during these flooding skirmishes. Go figure. The Back Mountain got pummeled beyond belief, while Wilkes-Barre got a big puddle in the area around Barney Street. I guess thereís just no accurately predicting this flooding stuff sometimes, so keep an extra keg on hand at all times. Better safe than sober. Something like that. I dunno.
Iím glad you were spared the worst, though. Who needs that sort of hassle?
Stay in touch.
Guess where Iím off to today? You got it, baby!
The grandrodents are coming to town and weíre heading down to Wilkes-Barre Movies 14 to see ďCars.Ē No, not the Cars, like, with Ric Osasek pretending that he can sing. Weíre taking in the animated Disney version of Cars.
Can you say Junior Mints? Yummy.