Wednesday, June 22, 2022


   THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2022

             AGNES AT 50!  

 I'm not great at remembering dates.

places as well as my friend.
But I can tell you where I was on
June 22nd in 1972. I can tell you
where I was on the 23rd, 24th and
every day for the rest of that month
and into July as well. In fact I
called my wife to tell her I'd be home
a little late and didn't get there
for three days! Even then I
couldn't stay!
 That's when Tropical Storm Agnes
struck Wyoming Valley. 50 years ago!
 I was News Director of WILK Radio
at the time and we were the area's
'Emergency Alert Station' for the
 As the waters of the Susquehanna
River began to rise to a dangerous
level I decided to go to the
Courthouse where are station had a
two way radio. That way I didn't
have to bother the Civil Defense
Officials with constant phone calls
for updates.
 But the individual assigned to
handle public information for Civil
Defense couldn't get in.
 Does anybody remember what the
term 'drafted' means?
 Well I was.
 It was an experience
unequaled in my news career!
 I saw the Pierce Street Bridge
get washed away!
 I was broadcasting a report from
Civil Defense in the sub basement
of the Courthouse when water started
to gush into the room from what should
have been the drain! Being a
'trained observer' I decided to leave
the room and move somewhere higher!
 I carried documents dating from the
1700's upstairs to try to keep them
from being lost.
 And I worked an Army field telephone
wired from the temporary CD
headquarters to the old WYZZ FM
while directing a network of  13 usually
competitive radio stations to air
flood emergency reports.
 We did that once at hour
for several 'weeks after the waters
went back within their banks.
 We only lost one report!
 Two kids saw the wire running up
the street and decided to play jump
 Then President Nixon called it 'the
worst natural disaster to hit the
United States' up till that time.
 But the work of volunteers,National
Guard, students who sandbagged, Civil
Defense and those great newsmen and DJ's
who took shifts on that emergency
radio network contributed to a very
low death toll in our area.
 Let's face it folks. Some things
you can't remember. Some others
you'll never forget!
 Keep you feet dry and may all your
NEWS be good!


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