West Pittston contractor assisting in borough cleanup after flood

By Patrick Kernan - pkernan@timesleader.com
- Facebook photo
UGI employees work on houses along Susquehanna Avenue in West Pittston on Thursday after gas was shut off due to Wednesday’s flooding. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

WEST PITTSTON — A local contractor is doing his part to clean up after Wednesday’s flooding — and he’s doing it for free.

Eric Thomas is the owner of Thomas Landscape Management LLC, a West Pittston-based landscaping and snow removal company. When the borough was hit by destructive flooding caused by a massive ice jam on the Susquehanna River, Thomas knew what he had to do.

“We met with the mayor and some other borough officials and I told them, ‘As soon as the water recedes, we’re going in there,’” Thomas said.

And that’s exactly what he did.

Starting at around 1 a.m. Thursday, Thomas had his plow trucks, salt trucks and front end loaders chopping away at what he called “icebergs” left in the street by the river.

Thomas said borough officials have been a big help in the removal process, praising their work in keeping roads closed. Thomas also complimented PennDOT for its work in removing ice.

By 10:30 a.m., Thomas said things were “going good.” He noted crews had been constantly going since first taking to the streets in the wee hours.

“We’re just scraping and salting, scraping and salting,” Thomas said of the ice removal process.

While progress has been steady, it’s also been slow-going, with Thomas reporting some of the chunks of ice left by the river were as tall as 8 feet.

“We had to use two machines on one piece to move it; it was too heavy to be moved by one,” Thomas said.

He saw his work as a service to the borough.

“We’re just a local company trying to help the community,” Thomas said. “We were affected by the evacuation, too. The water was close, but it didn’t hit us.”

https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_26907187_1928796687154741_4896147267044998088_n.jpgFacebook photo

UGI employees work on houses along Susquehanna Avenue in West Pittston on Thursday after gas was shut off due to Wednesday’s flooding.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_TTL012618WestPittstonCleanUp.jpgUGI employees work on houses along Susquehanna Avenue in West Pittston on Thursday after gas was shut off due to Wednesday’s flooding. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

By Patrick Kernan

pkernan@timesleader.com

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan