Road To Recovery
One Year Later: Athens Businesses Bounce Back From Flood
Athens, Bradford County - One year after historic flooding in the borough of Athens, a large majority of its businesses have re-opened in that part of Bradford County.
Many of the owners say they never hesitated to come back to the northern Bradford County community.
For Dr. Karyn Ross of Body Works Chiropractic, this weekend will take on special significance.
"It is, I guess you'd say, kinda bittersweet. Things happen for a reason I guess but I don't want it to ever happen again," Dr. Ross said.
Ross' office was buried under three feet of water during the historic flood last September.
She was able to bounce back after about four months after improvising at first.
"We opened up our house and I had two chiropractic tables in my kitchen for four months and the waiting room was my living room and people just came to my house," Dr. Ross said.
Down the street at the Lowery Funeral Home, owners say the flood cost them more than $1 million in repairs between all their businesses but they wanted to come back.
"We had seven feet of water go through our first business in the back, which is our monument business and then it kinda swept through, we had a restaurant in the back and a flower shop, then it hit the funeral home," co-owner Sharon Lowery said.
Gannon Associates, an insurance agency, also wasn't spared flood damage. Workers used the flood recovery time to change their layout.
"We were able to take our office and completely gut it. We were able to add some more units and employees and open things up a little bit," Cyndie Gannon Cooper said.
With 35 of the 41 businesses in Athen's downtown business district already back or working towards re-opening, the community is holding a street fair this weekend.
They want the region to know they have survived and are thriving.
"I said from the very beginning that Athens was going to be better off than it was before and I'm already seeing it," Lowery said.
The street festival will continue on Saturday.