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Some Lackawanna County emergency vehicles damaged by flood

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison spoke with members of two departments doing their best to serve the community without their rescue trucks.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Some fire departments in  Lackawanna County are working without some key equipment damaged by flash flooding.

In South Abington Township a little over a week ago, rescue crews from the Abingtons and other nearby departments worked to get people to safety from floodwaters.

Chinchilla Hose Company Chief Sean Connolly says that flooding damaged homes and businesses. The firehouse along Shady Lane Road saw some minor flooding, but the biggest damage was to vehicles.

"We had multiple fire apparatuses that took on water. Our own engine, Dickson City Fire apparatus had taken on water," said Chief Connolly.

It was the same scenario for the Newton Ransom Volunteer Fire Company.

First Assistant Chief John Stemphoski says their engine and brush truck took on water while crews responded to several emergencies in Newton Township.

"We have a military truck that went down to Chinchilla to aid down there, and we got dispatched for our own people trapped in cars and residents that couldn't get out. My engine and brush truck went down to assist them, and they got trapped," Stemphoski said.

Chief Connolly says Chinchilla has a substation that wasn't flooded. That substation houses some backup vehicles, including an engine. They will use that until repairs can be made to the primary engine.

"We're still working on the estimate. We had a good thing that the motor started. So now we have the electronic issues that we have to deal with to try and isolate where the problems are," Connolly said.

The Newton Ransom Volunteer Fire Company is not as fortunate. Stemphoski believes both the engine and brush truck will be a total loss.

"We only have one engine. We have one engine to service the area. We are probably going to get a rental."

Both companies continue to respond to emergencies but are thankful for mutual aid from neighboring departments if needed.

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