Sunday, June 24, 2007
Remembering A Tragedy
Looking at the hometown newspaper online, I found this article on the disaster which was Hurricane Agnes, which struck the mid-Atlantic region on this date in 1972. We moved to the area shortly thereafter, and shortly after my grandfather had moved his inventory of automobiles from his home on the hill back to Schreffler Pontiac-Buick-Cadillac in downtown Sunbury, Pennsylvania.
Yes, that picture shows the raging Susquehanna River, just six inches from the top of the flood wall in Sunbury. Other places were not so lucky; virtually the entirety of the rest of the Susquehanna Valley from Wilkes-Barre (where the levee system failed) to Harrisburg suffered billions of dollars in damage from the waters of the river. Even the Pennsylvania Governor's Mansion was flooded. For decades, the Sunbury wall had been quite controversial, since it spoiled the view of the river of those homes you see in the background.
For many years thereafter, there were two pieces of graffiti on the wall, saying "I love you wall!"
And a word of complaint about the wall's aesthetic damage was never heard again.