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Levees hold in PA

The threat of catastrophic flooding was lifted Thursday morning as the levees held near Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where some 200,000 were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | June 29, 2006

The threat of catastrophic flooding was lifted Thursday morning as the levees held near Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where some 200,000 were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday.

The Susquehanna River began receding early Thursday after Wilkes-Barre residents were told to prepare for the worst.

But that doesn't mean residents completely dodged the bullet. Local authorities emphasized that they were still assessing damage to homes, business and utilities.

On Wednesday, Pennsylvania issued mandatory evacuation orders for 200,000 people in the Wilkes-Barre area, confirmed Trooper Lynette Quinn, who was representing the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

The rising Susquehanna River put such a strain on flood control systems that state officials felt they had to issue the evacuation, which they called "precautionary but mandatory," said Quinn.

Wilkes-Barre is in northeastern Pennsylvania. It was devastated by flooding in 1972 when the remnants of Hurricane Agnes swept through. The city is now protected by levees.


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