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Hurricane Agnes remembered in Schuylkill County

As we mark the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Agnes, historians in Schuylkill County are taking time to share how the community stepped up after the flooding.

POTTSVILLE, Pa. — On Wednesday, volunteers at the Schuylkill County Historical Society looked at pictures taken 50 years ago. The photos remind them of where they were during Hurricane Agnes.

“Although we didn't get flooded in our house, there was no place to go. You couldn't leave the town because the river had inundated the streets,” explained Steven Young, assistant executive director of the Schuylkill County Historical Society.

He was just four years old in 1972. He remembers being told to leave his daycare in Schuylkill Haven, right next to the Schuylkill River. Young's father later got involved in rescue efforts.

“That's actually when we started his volunteer firefighting career. And he was gone for days helping people get out and getting them to safety. Then after that, it was days and days of nothing but cleanup,” Young recalled.

Schuylkill Haven, Pottsville, and Pine Grove were some of the hardest-hit places in Schuylkill County. Agnes left a lot to clean up.

“It's not just the mud and the silt too, it was all the debris that carried with it like trees and cars and everything. It would just slam into businesses and homes, which was the most devastating," added Young.

The historical society has pictures of the trailers that provided temporary housing after Agnes. And of women from area churches helping to clean homes.

“You see in some of the Agnes flood photos in the boats, some of those are not firefighters, that's the community. A lot of them are firefighters and rescue workers, but a lot of them are just volunteers that had the boats,” Young said.

Young says the photos from Agnes are a reminder of how a community came together to help each other after one of the most devastating storms to ever hit our area.

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See more stories about the Agnes Flood on YouTube.  

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