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Agnes Flood documentary to mark 50th anniversary

Newswatch 16's Chelsea Strub shares an effort underway to commemorate the devastation of the Wyoming Valley and how you can help.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — June 23, 2022, will mark the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Agnes and the devastation it brought to our area. 

As Alan Stout stands on his porch in Edwardsville and looks out over the Wyoming Valley, he's reminded of a time when his family had to leave their home in south Wilkes-Barre as floodwater from Hurricane Agnes rose in 1972

"Living through the flood as a child made me want to do the documentary," Stout laughed. "One of my first memories of my life is Agnes."

Stout's foyer is filled with materials he and others have compiled over the last 10 years since he and a group of others started the Agnes Flood Documentary Project.

"Where we hit the road 10 years ago with some of the fundraising. Things like GoFundMe were in their infancy back then. We really weren't sure about them; now they're well established."

His team now has a GoFundMe to help with editing, production, and licensing costs.

Stout says national news coverage of the costly disaster that his team was able to license make this documentary special.

"You see these legendary anchors—John Chancellor, Walter Cronkite—opening up the 6:30 news talking about the Wyoming Valley and Wilkes-Barre being, you know, devastated by this flood," Stout said.

Since most of the valley was without power or cleaning up, Stout says this is footage that's never been seen by folks affected by it, and he says it's those people who inspire him to continue work on the documentary.

"To honor the people of this valley, who lived through it and fought through it. They rolled up their sleeves; they got to work. They feel sorry for themselves, and they put this town back together, and that's our parents and our grandparents."

The goal is to have the documentary finished by the flood's 50th anniversary on June 23, 2022, and then show it to schools throughout the Wyoming Valley and beyond.

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