The View from Here: Todd Heiss

As I was heading to work last evening down Main Street, I couldn’t help but notice the big yellow CAT back hoe along with several dump trucks on the west end of town. It sat on a piece of property that had been a house just over 30 days ago. They were on site to start demolishing the first of what will be many homes lost to the water. It seemed strange to see what was once someone’s home turned into a pile of rubble being hauled off to the landfill. I spoke with the foreman about the homeowner rebuilding.  He replied, “They’re done, not coming back.” Hopefully this isn’t the same for everyone displaced by this event.

This morning after getting my daughter on the bus to school, I decided to take a ride around Bloomsburg and Fernville, bringing along my camera as well. It has been a month of rain, rain and more rain — but the town is slowly getting cleaned up due to this. I traveled thru the park’s baseball fields, along 11th and 12th streets, the High School, and then out Railroad Street to the fairgrounds crossing over to Fernville. Some debris is still there — a wrecked shed that floated from one place, tires and mud in another, the picnic table out of place, and fences that are half missing.

One thing I noticed was that so few homes were being worked on. I counted under 20. Those I did see were having drywall replaced, interior walls rebuilt and painted, siding being torn off with new ready to go on. Maybe its due to everyone back working their full time jobs now, only to come home (if they can come home) to another full time job along with taking care of the normal things.

Well, what’s normal now? I can’t explain it.

Houses are going to be missed and family heirlooms are impossible to replace. Rebuilding will be very hard, very tiring, and take some time, but Bloomsburg will rebuild.

Thanks to everyone who came out afterwards to cleanup:  Bloomsburg University Football, Field Hockey, and Soccer teams, the Bloomsburg High School Football team, the surrounding Fire Companies, Red Cross, AGAPE, and anyone and everyone I missed for giving their strength, and the people around the country who supported or donated whatever they could.

Now, the town needs you again — to finish what was started. Because Bloomsburg will rebuild.