Now that the dust has settled or should I say the water has gone down, I have one nagging question that I can't get out of my mind. That question is, "Did our government officials tell us what was really going on?" In my mind the answer keeps coming up NO! On the Thursday of the flood, I went to bed with the river at 38.2 feet and a scheduled crest of 40.5 feet at 2am. Originally the crest was at 2am, then at 8pm and then back to 2 am. I'm sure this is not an exact science so I will give them a mulligan on this one. However, when I woke up on Friday morning, the river had crested at 2am as predicted but the level was 42.66 feet. WHAT! WHAT! That is over the 41 foot levee system! My family and I thought the worst. Now wait a minute, then we were told that the levee's structural integrity is good to 41 feet but the actual walls are 44 feet high. As I stated in an earlier Gripe, "When the hell were they going to tell us that one?" It seems that the mighty Susquehanna forced them to let that cat out of the bag. So why did the public not know this? My guess would be that if they told us 44 feet, people would not evacuate as quickly or at all when the crest is predicted at 40 feet. For some, a 4 foot cushion is no big concern.
Speaking of holding back information, I am not convinced that the problems in Forty Fort were simply boiling spots on the dry side of the levee. One of our Gripers, Bob W. and I walked the levee this past Monday and let me tell you, to me it does not look like boiling spots. The problem spot (pictured at the left) at the Forty Fort Cemetery looks like a possible structural problem with the levee itself. The engineers have at least 3 to 5 feet of rock, dirt and sand piled up right against the levee wall. If you walk on top of it you can easily see over the white retaining wall. To me this wreaks of the wall weakening under the stress of the water. Also in this spot you can see several bright orange paint lines that mark cracks in the levee walls. Are they surface cracks or structural cracks? My guess is we will never know. These highlights can be seen on both the Wilkes-Barre and West Side walls. This concerns me very much. If these are structural cracks, then we all better pray for a drought. Another long bout of rain could send the river up and the walls down.
Also on the Forty Fort side, we were informed that there was another boiling spot near the Luzerne County Soccer fields. During the flood, my contact in the nations capital called me and wanted to know what was going on with the police escorted Euclid dump trucks filled with rock and dirt? CNN had live footage of this convoy coming up Route 81 at a very rapid pace. Of course, we were told it was just some boiling and there was no need for concern. I beg to differ. If you look at the picture on the left, you will see the water gushing into the soccer fields from about a 30 foot wide area. I enlarged this picture so this gusher is very visible. To me, this does not look like some boiling of the river. It looks like the river cut through the ground under the dyke and surfaced there as it did in 1972. I will be interested to see what the river side looks like after the water goes down. I have a feeling we may be shocked at what we find. Again, lets hope they can get this repaired before another deluge of rain comes our way.
My sources tell me that there were spots in Wilkes-Barre and Kingston that also encountered some of this boiling. These reports cannot be confirmed. I will say this, our officials did do a great job to plug these problem areas up. A big two thumbs up go to their quick actions. If they didn't act quickly, the entire West Side would have been underwater. However, I do believe that they held back information from the public and that is not right. We have a right to know exactly what is going on and then react accordingly. I am sick and tired of our various levels of government allegedly knowing what is right for the people. They need to be honest no matter how grave the situation is.
Coming up on the R2G, shocking information concerning workman's comp, disability and illegal immigrants. Hold onto your hats because you will blow your stack!
House of Kroy tour - *...sans the basement and garage.*
10 months ago