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Clearing Dunmore Cemetery

DUNMORE, Pa. — A cemetery in Lackawanna County was closed for a time after Monday’s storm. It’s back open now, but crews are continuing to cle...

DUNMORE, Pa. -- A cemetery in Lackawanna County was closed for a time after Monday's storm. It's back open now, but crews are continuing to clear up debris before the Easter weekend.

Every year in the fall, more than a thousand people from all over take a walking tour through Dunmore Cemetery, as a group of actors bring history to life. Julie Esty is the director of the show, and she says the annual tour is just one of the things that make the cemetery so special.

"The people that walk here, the people that are buried here, the history behind it," Esty said.

Esty was not giving a tour on Wednesday when Newswatch 16 stopped by, but she was seeing the cemetery for the first time since Monday's overnight storm.

"When I see a tree down here in the cemetery, I think just like all of the people who are at rest here. That tree's time is done. As long as no one is hurt, it's all good," she said.

Two pine trees that once lined the cemetery were uprooted in Monday's storm, but they fell towards a highway off-ramp, not the headstones.

"I think it could have been a lot worse. We were very fortunate here in the cemetery. There's very little damage. There's no damage to the stones or anything like that. It always could have been worse," Esty said.

The cemetery was closed for about three hours Monday morning so officials could clean up the branches and sticks.

"Of course when winds that heavy blow through here, the place will be littered with sticks and branching. Always no matter what the weather, the employees here are amazing and they go out and they take care of it," Esty said.

The off-ramp of I-81 South at Dunmore was closed for much of the day Monday until PennDOT could remove the two trees. Cemetery officials say they lost a few others, but no headstones were damaged. Julie Esty says she thinks angels live here.

"Everything is wonderful about this place. It's a beautiful corner of the Lackawanna Valley," she said.

Cemetery officials say they will continue to clear debris and nothing will be impacted for Easter weekend.