School Closings, Bradford County Gets Ready For Sandy’s Approach

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the expected onslaught of Hurricane Sandy looming, shoppers on Sunday in Bradford County stocked up on groceries and the county commissioners signed a Declaration of Emergency.

“We’re taking the position that we don’t want to underestimate any part of this storm, and we’re trying to be very proactive at getting in front of this incident so everything is in place before we need it,” said John Ambrusch, the county’s emergency manager.

“Our public information officer is pushing out the information to all media outlets, and has made contact with all EMS officers and staff.”

In a prepared statement, the county warned the public that winds will gradually pick up during the day today and “are expected to become very damaging, at their peak intensities from Monday night into Tuesday morning.”

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/school-closings-county-gets-ready-for-sandy-s-approach-1.1395302

Athens, PA Flood Recovery Slow But Steady

Map of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, USA with...

Image via Wikipedia

2011 has been a year of disasters.  As we recover from the freak snow storm on Saturday, many still without power, let us look back on the flooding which devastated parts of Pennsylvania and follow-up on the recovery efforts being made.

Athens, Pa. — On Maple Street in Athens Borough on Saturday, residents were making progress: some were spackling, some were insulating, some were putting up drywall, and one was ready for a break.

The street was inside a zone so devastated by the flood of nearly two months ago that, in the days just after the flood, people had to pass a Pennsylvania Army National Guard checkpoint to enter.

Read more: http://www.stargazette.com/article/20111030/NEWS01/110300350/Flood-recovery-slow-steady?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Marcellus Shale Workers Create Housing Shortage And Rising Rents In Bradford County

Cropped portion of image from USGS report show...

Image via Wikipedia

In case you haven’t been following the development of the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry in Pennsylvania, here’s the latest.

The “gas boom” has hit Pennsylvania and energy companies are moving workers into rural areas of Pennsylvania that are not equipped to handle the large influx of workers. 

Today’s example is Sayre, PA.  Sayre has a population of 5,813 according to us 2000 census and is 2 square miles.  It is the largest town in Bradford County.  The greater Sayre, PA  Athens, PA & Waverly, NY area totals not quite 30,000 people.  It is Bradford County’s “city”.  This is an economically depressed area that once boasted an impressive manufacturing base.  Sayre was a big railroad town.  A bright spot is the Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Clinic which is a major employer in the area.

Along comes the “gas boom” and suddenly there are hundreds of people looking for apartments.  Now rents have skyrocketed based on “demand” forcing many local people out.  Finding an apartment is equivalent to finding hen’s teeth.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is one of the companies drilling for natural gas.  They went from one well and a few dozen employees to 21 wells and 1,100 employees.  They are not the only company drilling!  While these companies try to hire locals, more than half of their employees live “out-of-state”.  They work 14 days on, 14 days off.  Most out-of-state workers fly home when they are off.

Chesapeake Energy came up with a great solution.   They built a $7 million dollar residential facility and training center in Sayre to reduce the strain on the local housing market.  The dorms will house 280 workers.  A cafeteria, recreation center and laundry facility are part of the fenced in complex.  Workers moved in last week.