Flooding leaves kids without popular summer hangout


    Kids in one part of our community are left without a place to relax after a popular summertime destination is destroyed by flooding.

    "We've actually had some kids break down crying out in the lobby when they saw the signs that the library was closed until further notice and they've actually shed tears,” worker Mitch Alday said.

    Alday and others at the Rudy Gelnett Library in Selinsgrove have had a heck of a time dealing with the aftermath of flooding that shut down the kid’s section in the basement.

    Executive Director Pamela Ross says it all started after last month's heavy rains caused pipes in the building to back up.

    "It wasn't actually flood water that came in, it was water that backed up and basically, Selinsgrove Borough is fairly low, the surrounding areas around us are higher, and the water came into the borough,” Ross said.

    With the borough still waiting for estimates, the total cost in damage right now is somewhere around $50,000 dollars.

    But while the building can be replaced, the look of disappointment in kids’ eyes cannot.

    "We want them to spend hours here if they wish. You'd be amazed how long people would spend here. A lot of grandparents, a lot of babysitters, a lot of social workers coming in with their clients. All those people would be coming here all the time and now they can't,” Ross said.

    Alday was one of the first to see the damage.

    "When we arrived at work we said, 'ok, we have to do something,' and 'how bad is it?' And we determined it had worked its way up an inch or two to the bottom of the shelving units,” he said.

    But luckily no books were damaged or destroyed.

    Now Ross and the others have set up a makeshift, albeit much smaller, section upstairs.

    "We're doing our best to get it back to the way it was! And hopefully we won't have to deal with this again,” Alday said.

    Library officials say many in the area think the entire library is shut down.

    But it's just the children's and young adult section.

    The rest of the facility is operating as usual.

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