Ma&Pa heavily damaged by floods

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The Ma & Pa Preservation Society suffered severe flood damage.
Ma&PA Facebook page
MUDDY CREEK FORKS, Pa. — The Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society has put out a call for volunteers to help clean up its Muddy Creek Forks railway village museum site after severe flooding hit Friday.

President Craig Sansonetti told Trains, “Unfortunately the devastation along our track is much more severe than the problems at Muddy Creek Forks. Three tributary streams caused enormous damage. At one large culvert tons of stone now cover the track and completely obscure the proper waterway. A bridge slightly further north is open and suffered no damage, but the stream no longer runs under it. It cut a new course sweeping the track off the roadbed for more than a hundred feet and is now running through the track. The worst damage is at the 32-foot plate girder bridge by Guinston Forge Road. It is gone, swept entirely off its abutments and in the streambed west of the track. Its approaches were pulled off the roadbed and kinked around a tree.”

According to the appeal from the museum, both the historic A.M. Grove general store and the nearby flour mill sustained water and mud damage. The museum shop building was also flooded. Ties and other lumber were carried away by the water. Sansonetti said sticky mud was everywhere, with all sorts of smaller items jumbled together wherever the water left them. Several pieces of rolling stock also sustained water damage, and the society's motorcar fleet used for public rides was nearly submerged.

The flooding necessitated cancellation of activities planned for the Labor Day weekend. The cleanup effort is focused on repairing damage so that the annual Heritage Day can take place as planned on Sept. 22.

"I wish there were some good news, but it looks like recovery will be expensive and probably lengthy. We've persevered through a lot over the past 30 years, so I have confidence that somehow we will pull through this too," Sansonetti said.

The nearby Stewartstown Railroad also experienced some flooding, with track under water at least one location, and runoff deposited mud and gravel on the track near Shrewsbury.

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