WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (June 29, 2006) — Despite rising floodwaters around it, McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. in Wilkes-Barre has managed to stay afloat.
As many as 200,000 people were forced to evacuate the town and its surrounding area on Wednesday because of increasing floodwaters from several days of rain and fear of the rising Susquehanna River. But the commercial dealership “lucked out,” said John McCarthy, president. Of McCarthy Tire's 26 locations and four retread facilities, the storm affected only two stores, neither of which was damaged.
One store in Kingston, Pa., was forced to close Wednesday afternoon and the first half of the day today because it was in a flood zone. An evacuation order was lifted at noon today allowing residents to come back into town, Mr. McCarthy said.
The company's Oneonta, N.Y., outlet also was closed on Wednesday because authorities declared the town in a state of emergency, according to store manager Shannon Hutzel. The store, which is located on a hill, was open for business today, despite several surrounding businesses that remained closed, he added.
Mr. McCarthy said while business was slow Wednesday—mostly because people were more interested in moving their belongings to higher ground—it picked up by this afternoon, especially the dealership's road service calls.
Calls from Tire Business to a dozen other shops in the western Pennsylvania and southern New York areas found no damage reported from storms that have battered the Midwest for several days.