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Wilkes Rallies To lend a Hand in Flood RelieF By Mary ellen alu 77.pdf

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					                     Wilkes Rallies To lend a Hand in Flood RelieF                                                      By Mary ellen alu ’77




                     W
                                   hen a swollen                   as west Pittston, where Goldsworthy ’76    hadn’t owned the home during agnes,
                                      susquehanna River heavily    grew up and still resides—the rushing      but back then, the basement was only
                                    flooded the wilkes campus      river pushed into homes and businesses,    partially flooded. when the water started
                                   in June 1972 in the aftermath   tossing about furniture, buckling floors   to recede and Goldsworthy finally got
                     of hurricane agnes, an incoming freshman      and crumbling foundations.                 the first look inside, he was disheartened.
                     named Bill Goldsworthy heard the college’s       This time, the wilkes community got        “It looked like someone literally
                     clarion call for help as the water receded.   a chance to pay it forward by helping      trashed your house,” he says.
                     with a group of Circle K members,             Goldsworthy and other wyoming Valley          Meanwhile, the wilkes community
                     he cleaned out muddy books from the           families recover from the extensive        was mobilizing, calling for volunteers over
                     basement of eugene s. Farley library in       flooding. students, faculty, staff and     the University’s Facebook page and by
                     a campus-wide push to get wilkes back         alumni teamed up to work shifts, hauling   phone. The University gave all employees
                     open by the start of his fall semester.       out muck from basements, ripping up        up to two paid days off to volunteer. amy
                        now, nearly 40 years later, it was         flooring or tossing damaged furniture      hetro, wilkes annual fund manager, used
                     Goldsworthy who was in need, as the           curbside and into dumpsters.               the time off to continue volunteer work
                     susquehanna River rose again to record           “our town is in total devastation,”     at the west Pittston library, which lost its
                     levels in september due to heavy rains.       said Goldsworthy, former west Pittston     building and 40 percent of its collection
                        levees built after the ’72 agnes flood     mayor and former president of the          from flooding.
                     held back the river in wilkes-Barre,          wilkes alumni association. “It’s like we      hetro says, “Because of the wilkes
                     sparing the city from major flood damage.     went through a war.”                       employee volunteer program, I was able to
                     But in unprotected communities—such              The water rose 3 feet on the first      volunteer at the library to pick up where
                                                                   floor of his two-story home, where         the volunteers left off over the weekend. I
                                                                            Goldsworthy and his wife have     helped disinfect books, made arrangements
                                                                              lived for 33 years and raised   for a temporary library location, secured
                                                                                  their four children. They   computers and internet access for this
                                                                                                              location, and established a fund at a local
                                                                                                              foundation to assist with recovery.”
Wilkes | Fall 2011




   14
                                                                                                                 MORE ON THE WEB
   wrestling coach Jon laudenslager ’98          Pieces of family history were already                            Check out our photo gallery
was among the first to contact the            curbside when students arrived—                                     of Wilkes students, faculty and
community service office to let officials     his grandfather’s antique clock, his                staff pitching in during flood relief efforts
know his wrestlers were ready to serve.       grandmother’s favorite chair. anything              after the 2011 flood at www.wilkes.edu/Flood.
    “It was a no brainer,” laudenslager       covered in flood mud posed health hazards
                                                                                                  2011 Flood Facts
says. Community service was on his            and had to be tossed, says Goldsworthy,
                                                                                                  Heavy rains caused by Tropical storm lee
mind, he says, because of the service to      deputy director of the governor’s
                                                                                                  caused the swollen susquehanna River to
country of one of his former wrestlers,       northeast regional office. Kitchen cabinets
                                                                                                  spill over its banks. Here are some facts
army Ranger sandrino Plutino, killed          had to be removed, as well as tile flooring.
                                                                                                  about the flood of 2011 at Wilkes:
in action in afghanistan in august 2011.         when sophomore Megan heverly
                                                                                                  • The City of Wilkes-Barre—including Wilkes
(see page 25)                                 arrived with the student crew, it was                 University’s campus—was evacuated at 4
   some 30 wrestlers volunteered to           the mounds of debris lining the streets               p.m. on Thursday, sept. 8.
help. at the request of wilkes-Barre          that struck her. “You couldn’t tell what            • The University’s facilities department,
officials, the wrestlers and others from      anything was,” she says. “It’s so sad                 with some help from the Colonels football
wilkes—55 people in all—worked in             to see.” Inside Goldsworthy’s home,                   team, moved file cabinets, computers
the Brookside section of the city.            heverly bleached woodwork on the first                and other equipment out of harm’s way,
   wrestler shane everett, a wilkes           floor to protect it from mold, as other               moving them to upper floors prior to the
senior, was among them. “It was pretty        students hauled muck and a ruined pool                evacuation deadline.
eye-opening,” he says. “It was surprising     table from the basement.                            • about 40 Wilkes students were guests
to see that just a few miles down the road       “You’re getting them one step closer               of the University of scranton during the
(from the campus), many community             to getting their house back to what it                evacuation.
members weren’t so lucky.”                    was,” heverly says.                                 • The river crested at a record 42.6 feet
   everett said students felt they were          There have been some things                        on Friday, sept 9. The levees constructed
making a difference as they cleared homes     Goldsworthy has managed to save. In                   after Hurricane agnes held. Communities
and streets of debris. “I was soaked in       his file cabinet in his first-floor office,           without levee protection experienced
sweat,” he said. “we gave it our all.”        he found his acceptance letter to wilkes              record flooding.
   Community service coordinator Megan        from so many years ago, signed by                   • The evacuation order was lifted on
Boone encouraged students not to refer        then-Dean John whitby.                                saturday, sept. 10 and the Wilkes residence
to flood-damaged items as trash. “we’re          he dried it out.                                   halls reopened on sunday, sept. 11 at 3 p.m.
touching people’s treasured items: wedding                                                          Classes resumed on Tuesday, sept. 13.
dresses, photo albums, the chair that                                                             • The Wilkes volunteer effort continues
                                              Far left, wrestlers Myzar Mendoza, Michael
grandma sat on at Thanksgiving, Christmas     Fleck, Matt ellery and Ryan Wilson pull up a          weeks after the flood. Collections of
decorations that you put up every year,       floor in a flood-damaged home in Wilkes-Barre.          cleaning supplies, fundraisers and a
                                              second photo, wrestler Ryan lynch and
things that hold memories.”                                                                         special volunteer cleanup by alumni during
                                              Philip Ruthkosky, associate dean of student
   Goldsworthy didn’t hesitate in accepting   development, remove damaged furniture. This           Homecoming Weekend continued as
                                              page, left below, Wilkes President Tim Gilmour        Wilkes magazine went to press.
the University’s offer of help. he hopes he   and Mark allen, dean, student affairs, get ready
can rebuild his home in time to celebrate     to don gloves for clean up. Below right, a Wilkes
                                                                                                  Memories of Agnes
                                              worker shovels mud from a basement.
the Christmas holidays there with his         PHoTos BY CHRisToPHeR BaRRoWs and                   The spring 2012 issue of Wilkes magazine will
family and new granddaughter.                 eaRl and sedoR PHoToGRaPHiC.                        feature memories of another flood—the 1972
                                                                                                  deluge caused by Hurricane agnes. if you
                                                                                                  have 1972 flood memories to share, please
                                                                                                  e-mail us at wilkesmagazine@wilkes.edu.
                                                                                                                                                    Wilkes | Fall 2011




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