Line Mtn., Tri-Valley football squads join to assist others
Published: November 1, 2012
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KLINGERSTOWN - This Friday, they'll face off on opposite sides of the field.
On Sunday, they were on the same team.
Members of the Line Mountain and Tri-Valley football teams, coaches and parents were among more than 70 volunteers who joined in Klingerstown on Sunday, Oct. 28, in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy's impending landfall.
Klingerstown, along with Pine Grove, were among several local communities hard-hit by last September's flooding following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Sunday's effort was designed to help Klingerstown residents prepare for any potential flooding, by moving valuables and hard-to-lift items to higher ground, thanks in part to the strong arms of some athletic young men.
Aiding others in times of trouble is nothing new for the Line Mountain football team.
Last year, the Eagles' athletes assisted residents in the Bloomsburg area after flooding from Irene and Lee.
According to Eagles' Coach Randy Knock, organizers ran a phone chain to notify the team and fellow coaches of the work needed to be done in Klingerstown on Sunday.
"It's good for them to get involved in the community," Knock said.
Meanwhile, Tri-Valley Coach Mike Kogut notified his players, too, asking any teammates available to answer the call for help.
"Our coach sent out a text message to come out and help if we could, so I did," said Cameron Williard, 14, of Klingerstown, a Bulldog junior varsity left guard. Williard lives at 56 Spain Road in the village and said his family's home was spared the high water last September.
"We never had damage, so we always try to help out our neighbors as much as we can," Williard said.
Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from Troop 652, Klingerstown, also joined the football players, who went throughout the village, asking citizens and business owners if they needed a hand. Assistant Scout Master Terry Troutman and his wife, Jen, were among those who helped get volunteers on board for the project. Their son, Lyle, plays for Tri-Valley's squad.
Before crews set out, they met at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Klingerstown, and were briefed by members of the Klingerstown Long Term Recovery Committee, Case Manager Tricia Reed and member Becky Kline.
Reed said the committee met on Thursday, Oct. 25, spoke with some residents and business owners, and discussed areas that were flooded last year and where assistance may be needed again this time. Reed said some homeowners just recently had new carpeting and dry wall installed and 36 homes in Klingerstown have been registered with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).
"After the devastation of last year, they're really ready to be as prepared as possible," said Reed.
"Some people have not completely recovered. . .I am so grateful you're here," Reed told the volunteer group.
Park Road resident Brian Sims spent Sunday moving his pellet stoves and tool boxes to a safer location. Line Mountain athletes who assisted Sims included Riley Shaffer, Ryan Reed, Logan Shaffer, Hunter Hojnacki and Matthew Long.
Last year, Sims said his family had 6-inches of water in the basement, they lost their pellet stove and had their pool knocked over.
"We're moving everything to higher ground, but we'll be alright," Sims said, as his pellet stoves were placed on the back of a trailer.
Tonya Bordner and her fiance, Ronald Hassel Jr., were glad to have the volunteers' assistance. Crews moved their four-wheelers, snow blower, dirt bike, pool table and some of their furniture to a safer location. Bordner said her family just moved into their 77 Main Street home in January. Bordner had previously resided in Klingerstown, before moving to Tower City, and then back again to the village.
"I'm concerned about my oil furnace in the basement. We're staying here as long as we can," said Bordner, noting her fiance had family in nearby Sacramento, if there was a need to evacuate their home.
Governor Tom Corbett declared a state of disaster emergency for Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, Pine Grove Borough issued a declaration of disaster emergency on Sunday, Oct. 28, putting emergency response measures into place.
John M. Matz, Schuykill County Emergency Management Coordinator, sent a message Monday to all municipalities concerning solid waste recycling. Matz encouraged residents not to deposit anything at the recycling bins and to not leave the materials outside of the bins if they are full.
"As we expect hurricane force winds in the next 48 hours, the materials left outside of the bins may be spread and could cause damage to persons and property or create a significant clean up issue after the storm has passed," he wrote in a statement Monday, Oct. 29.
In addition, he noted recycling pick ups were suspended for Monday and Tuesday and were slated to resume on Wednesday, Oct. 31.