I live behind the mountains, just one of the ridges that form the Appalachain Mountain Chain. On the other side of my mountain — Bunker Hill — lies the greater Wyoming Valley, subject of a piece on tonight’s NPR All Things Considered. Wilkes-Barre and its sister community, Kingston, have been evacuated.
Residents have carried pillows and blankets, toothbrush and medications, along with a few cherished photographs to higher ground. Businesses have sent employees home and locked their doors. Nursing homes have relocated dozens of residents to open hospital beds. Schools hold evacuees instead of students.
I am high, and dry, and will remain so even if the Susquehanna breaks through the sand bags and levees, and I can house anyone who finds themselves without shelter or food. So I filled my truck with fuel, and my pantry with dry and canned goods. I added milk and eggs to my refrigerator shelves, and several pounds of chicken and beef to my freezer drawers. Extra water was purchased and back up batteries stashed with freshly packed flashlights.
Folks are glued to their radios and televisions and websites; we are waiting for the announcement that our river has crested and is receding. We all wait, safely gathered on some higher ground.
For this I am grateful.