PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Jerry Britton's PRR Middle Division in HO Scale

The PRR Middle Division has re-enacted the famous St. Patrick's Day flood of 1936. True to prototype, it was unplanned!

York Haven Shops Floods

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For those of you unaware, central Pennsylvania has been getting slammed by the remnants of hurricane Lee, now a tropical depression. A very slow moving storm, the front has moved a south to north path, keeping our area directly under it. We've had over a foot of rain since Tuesday. Hershey, the chocolate capital of the world, is very heavily hit. The Susquehanna River at Harrisburg is normally 3-5' deep. It is currently at 19' and expected to crest Friday at 28'. It's only been higher twice -- Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and the St. Patrick's Day flood of 1936. Having experienced Agnes first hand, I expect this storm to top of 1936 level of 29'.

Even though I live all but at the top of a hill, I have had water in my basement numerous times. The highest water was 18" and almost reached the staging level of my N scale model railroad at the time. The new HO model railroad is 3' off the floor and should never see water. Learning from the prior water, I invested in dozens of plastic bins, to allow everything in storage to survive a flood of less than a foot or so. I've had a few 2-3" floods and everything went according to plan.

This morning I woke to 6" in the basement, the most I have had since the "bin plan". What I failed to account for was "buoyancy". Several of my bins were so light they floated around. Others capsized. Probably 80% were fine. Fortunately my locos and Westie kits were all up high. But I had three bins full of Bowser, F&C, and InterMountain models and kits that got soaked. So now they are laid out to dry. 

Instructions are replaceable, but decals will have to be repurchased. I'm sure Mount Vernon Shops can hook me up! Other than the loss of packaging, and the needed care to not lose parts, the Bowser kits should be fine, as well as the InterMountain and Bowser ready-to-run cars. My biggest concern is about four dozen F&C resin kits. How will the resin parts react to the water exposure... warpage?

The sooner I get the easy Bowser kits built the better off I will be. Anyone ever hold a kit building party? I think I see one in my future!

On a lighter note, does submerging models in dirty flood water count as a weathering technique?