GILBERTON, (SCHUYLKILL COUNTY) PA: On September 7, 2011 at 15:27 hours the American Hose, Mahanoy Plane; and Continental Hose, Gilberton were dispatched to 500 Water Street in Gilberton for flooding. The flooding that was reported was to be the same situation that occurred with the rain storm in March. The heavy rains in the middle of March flooded the town for three days.
The firefighters arrived in a minutes and found water coming from the storm drains and flowing into the back yard of a number of homes. The water continued to spread quickly and began to move through out the streets. It was determined the large pumps on the end of town were not keeping up with the amount of rain that was falling. The fire chief then decided a number of fire engines will be needed to pump water from the collection pond that was over flooding. The flood water then would be pumped over the rail bed into the Mahanoy Creek.
Mahanoy Plane 44-10 and Gilberton 44-15 arrived on scene and started to draft out of the collection pond. The engines then used its deck guns to shoot the flood water of the rail road bed. The fire chief then decided to call in additional engines to assist with the pumping operations. Fire engines from Mahanoy City, Shenandoah, Brandoville and responded and pumped from the collection pond. The flood waters receded by 23:00 hours and all operating engines were then released from the scene.
The steady rain from Tropical Storm started back up early Thursday morning and continued through out the afternoon. The collection pond filled back up and the flood waters returned back to the streets again. The Gilberton Fire Department was resent back to the collection pond just after 06:00 hours. The fire chief decided the heavy rains will lead to streets and back yards to flood again. He then request additional engine companies to respond and assist with flooding emergency.
A number of fire engines from places like Shenandoah, Frackville, Brandonville, Girardville and pumped through out the day. The pumping operation lasted through the day on Thursday and into Thursday night. The rain stopped on Thursday afternoon which allowed the flood waters to receded a second time. The engines involved with the operation were released and returned home.
On late Friday night at 02:00 hours a fast moving Thunderstorm with heavy rain hit the Gilberton area again. The fire chief evaluated the situation and found the flooding was about to reoccur. He then had his Department and mutual aid engine companies report back to scene. The fire engines pumped the collection pond for a number of hours until the water receded and the risk of flooding has pass.
The fire chief thanked all mutual aid fire fighters who responded and assisted with the pumping operations over the three days.