NEWFOUNDLAND, Pa. — Fans, dryers, and heavy equipment were working overtime trying to dry out the Greene Dreher Sterling Fairgrounds after heavy rain caused severe flooding and forced fair officials to cancel on Wednesday, leaving uncertainty for the rest of the week's events.
Luckily, the waters receded, and it was all hands on deck to get things back up and running.
"Just getting most of the ponding water up. The vendors are all working on getting their spots and stands back to working condition," said Lyn Klingerman, GDS Fair board president.
The animals were a major concern when floodwaters rose so quickly and had to be evacuated to safety.
4-H and Fair staff members couldn't believe their eyes when they saw the barn in the light of day.
"Words couldn't even describe it, just the sigh of relief that came out when Matt and I this morning saw that the areas that were up to our knees was gone," said Olivia Keating, a fair board member.
A lot of work had to be done to get the barn ready to bring the animals back in, and fair staff members say they couldn't have done it without the community support.
"'What do you guys need? Do you guys need food? Are you guys hungry? do you need dry clothes?'" Keating said. "And then they're all here this morning, cleaning out each other's pens, making sure everything's clean and ready for the animals to come back."
And it didn't take too long to welcome back the first group of animals from their home farms.
"Our plan is to get the pigs out of the Wayne County Fairgrounds, and we have to thank them so much for how awesome they were. They really just pulled together to allow us to house our pigs there overnight," Keating added.
The arena took on a lot of water, forcing the fair board to cancel Thursday's truck pulls, but the good news is most of the animals are now back.