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'50 years later and we're still here!' – Sunbury residents recall Agnes

Folks remain thankful that the city's flood protection did its job back in 1972.

SUNBURY, Pa. — Driving through Sunbury this week, it's hard to miss this banner along Front and Market Streets. It was hung on the Sunbury flood wall earlier this week to remember the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Agnes.

"To remind everybody it's 50 years later, and we're still here!" said Jeff Lewis, Sunbury's flood department manager.

Lewis says the Sunbury flood wall was built between 1948 and 1952. The system was tested when Hurricane Agnes came through.

"We had what's called sand boils. They said the grass here was like walking on a water bed. There was just so much water coming up through. The water came to the top of the wall. The low-laying areas had to be evacuated to the upper areas."

In the end, the flood wall did its job.

"When it was done, we were probably the only community around that was not impacted so negatively as the other communities were. This wall saved Sunbury from devastation."

Fifty years ago, two former Sunbury residents spray-painted "We love you, wall" onto the Sunbury flood wall.

"It actually went viral back in the 70s. It's actually in Germany in the Army Corps office. It's down in Washington DC in their office this picture."

Lewis created a banner out of that picture, adding the word "still." He wants to remind the community the flood wall protected Sunbury 50 years ago and is "still" doing its job.

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See more stories about the Agnes Flood on YouTube.

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