Rising flood waters prompt Christmas Eve evacuations in Bloomsburg


BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) In a release issued Thursday afternoon, Bloomsburg Police Chief Roger Van Loan warned residents of the potential for flooding and emergency evacuations.

Bloomsburg is an area of concern in Pennsylvania when it comes to flooding and Thursday night, residents got a warning from police… flash flooding is possible.

Bloomsburg police officers started knocking on doors around 5:00 p.m. Thursday evening,
telling every resident in the town west of Railroad Street to prepare for possible evacuation.

Lindsay Miller, who lives in the flood zone tells us, “just the panic of having to move everything from your basement and not knowing, having that nervousness in your stomach, and waiting and watching.”

Nearby Fishing Creek was rising to dangerous levels due to heavy rain and melting snow.
Bloomsburg Police Chief Roger Van Loan says the National Weather Service warned them the creek would “more than likely flash flood” overnight.

Officers alerted nearly 300 households near the creek to be ready to leave when they hear the siren.

“We have a siren warning system in place, that if they hear that sound, they know the creek is going to flood and they need to go,” chief Van Loan told us.

Lindsay and Mike Miller live in the flood zone about a block from the creek. Police gave them this notice: Time to wrap up their holiday plans and think about getting to higher ground.

“It’s definitely making for an interesting Christmas Eve. Not our normal parties that we’re having, instead we’re moving things from our basement,” Lindsay Miller explained.

“It’s not easy to ask people to leave their homes on Christmas Eve, but life is the most important gift we all have so I would encourage people to find another place to go,” said Van Loan.

Local emergency management officials tell us there is no official evacuation shelter in place yet.
They’ll re-evaluate shelter options if and when it becomes an official evacuation.


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