Pennsylvania Campers Recall June ’06 Flood
Last year, the Slumber Valley Campground west of Tunkhannock, Pa., was closed for the Fourth of July. A year later, the campground is still recovering from damage caused by flooding in June 2006, but it plans to be open for the holiday, according to the Tunkhannock New Age Examiner.
“We’re very excited,” Merry McKeon, a member of the family that owns the campground, said. “It should be a good summer for us.”
Last summer started out badly for the campground, which nearly permanently closed following the flood.
Flood waters ripped up 25 campers and washed away a play area, trees and 20 tables. Debris was carried onto the campground property.
“The devastation was so great, we didn’t think we could open up,” McKeon said. “The damage was over $60,000 and that’s not the loss of income.”
She added that five seasonal campers chose not to return to the campground.
McKeon’s family was in despair but was uplifted with the support of more than 60 volunteers who helped get the campground up and running in less than two weeks when things looked hopeless.
“We had kids from the Tunkhannock Area School District volunteer and help us rebuild,” McKeon said.
Among the volunteers were a group of firefighters who often stay at the 100-acre campground.
“We just looked at it and said let’s clean it up and we did,” Meshoppen Fire Chief Bob Carney said. “They are good people and they are not the type of people who would ask for help.”
Chief Carney has recreationally visited at the campground for five years.
Grass has grown back on campground property that was washed away in June 2006 and trailers have been replaced, but more work remains.
“Even a year later, there is still evidence of the flooding and we hope to have it all cleaned up by the holiday,” Chief Carney said.
Included in the work that must be done is the removal of debris from the Meshoppen Creek.
Willow trees are also being planted along the creek and sand that had washed up on the campground is being used for a volleyball court, McKeon said.
Although the campground is back on its feet, McKeon still has trouble sleeping.
“Every time it rains no one in the family sleeps and we think about what could occur,” she said.