Historic rainfall floods basements, forces evacuations

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – Sludge still covered part of Wood Street in Middletown on Monday. It was left behind after remarkable flooding the night before.

Greg Wilsbach, the borough’s public works director, said the rain came so quickly it was too much for the system to take.

“We had streets that there were up to five feet of water, he said.

About 100 people were forced to leave the Woodlayne Court apartments when the high water flooded the basement and threatened the electricity panels. Dozens more people on Wilson Street had water in their basements.

“You might have had maybe an inch from the top of the water to the top of my basement,” Crystal Holley said. “Two of our water tanks up-dumped. They were spraying all night.”

Residents were also cleaning out on State Street. Kirt Gutshall needed a pressure washer after a foot of water flooded his auto repair business.

“When I looked out in the middle of the road, down here there was a manhole and it was shooting out of the manhole probably three foot in the air,” he said.

A fire truck was brought in to spray the mud off Wilson Street.

Dara Russell said the flood took out a chunk of sidewalk in front of her house. She said that allowed water to rush into her basement. She said she and her husband and four children will have to move because their landlord can’t afford the repairs.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said.

The Red Cross said it is helping 35 borough residents impacted by flooding.

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