Floodwaters Drench Pennsylvania Campground
The low-lying areas of the Twin Bridges Meadow Family Campground near Chambersburg, Pa., were deserted Monday (May 24), except for six campers and three vehicles that were underwater a day earlier, according to The Herald-Mail, Hagerstown, Md.
Branches, stones and muck plastered themselves to those things that hadn’t been moved immediately when Back Creek and Dennis Creek rose quickly early Sunday. Firefighters from three departments helped to ensure everyone evacuated that portion of the campground, even carrying an elderly couple out of their camper when water was higher than a person’s waist.
“It happened in the wee hours of the morning when everyone was sleeping. It took everyone by surprise,” said Dennis Statler, son-in-law of campground owner Florence Mackey.
The campground is on Twin Bridges Road about two miles north of the road’s intersection with U.S. 30 and about three miles west of Chambersburg, Pa.
St. Thomas (Pa.) Fire Chief Tom Bigler said the Edenville area northwest of Chambersburg, Pa., received seven inches of rain over the weekend. His fire department stabilized the back wall of a house at 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
“The blocks were pushed in from all the rain,” Bigler said.
Heavy rains on the mountain sent water south, where the creeks couldn’t handle the flow, Statler said.
“It was like a flash flood,” he said.
Six roads in Franklin County, Pa., remained closed Monday morning due to high water, but the county’s 911 center announced midday that they had all been reopened.
Bigler said about 10 roads were closed Sunday in the Edenville area when flooding was at its worst. The fire department conducted a voluntary evacuation at a housing development off U.S. 30.
Bigler called the Washington County (Md.) Special Operations Team for extra pumps, since the St. Thomas department was called to pump 50 basements. Some of those basements had up to 6 feet of water in them.
“We were pumping basements all day until 8:30,” he said.
The situation improved dramatically on Monday, Bigler said.
“It’s receding,” said Wilbur “Pete” Reasner, Twin Bridges’ campground manager.
Statler and Reasner worked with neighbors who volunteered their time to clean up the campground. They retrieved 60 picnic tables and were searching for 19 more.
“They’re still in the stream somewhere between here and (U.S.) 30,” Statler said.
Mackey said she hopes the affected portion of the 41-year-old campground dries out before Memorial Day weekend.