Portland Rising: Town makes rebirth after 3 floods in 1.5 years
Updated On: Mar 18 2013 06:18:55 PM CDT
The opening of a grocery store is not a typical headliner but don't tell that to the people of Portland, Northampton County.
"It's absolutely wonderful I feel like it is Christmas," said Sabrina Lis.
The present on Sunday was Portland Market reopening. It had been dark for three years.
"It's wonderful to see town coming back. I love living here, it's a great community," Jenny Collier said.
It had been decimated by the Delaware. Three floods in a year-and-a-half destroyed Main Street. In June of 2006 the Portland Market sat in six feet of water.
"It's been dubbed the Ghost town of the slate belt," Portland's Mayor Lance Prator said.
Prator also says whatever the flood didn't wash away, the economy did.
"As we walk down Main Street what's the sense do you get?" I asked him.
"Lot of pride. Pride in stores opening up, pride in business coming back," he said.
By mid April, four new business are set to open, including a Bagel shop and American Precision Machining, which sits inside the borough's old Ambulance Center.
"I was a little concerned. They eased my concerns, explained the area, how things are, and that led to my final decision to come here," owner John Vallance said
" Was there ever a time when you thought Portland would be erased from the map?" I asked to Mayor Prator.
"No" he said. "The beauty of Portland and "portlanders" is we step up to the plate, it's a community effort."
Perhaps none more so than Duane and Nicole Smith. The pair spent a small fortune re-opening the market after the floods. They eventually sold but still run the store.
"A lot of people depend on us, when we were here. I think the big deal is they don't have to travel anymore," Duane said.
Neither do local business owners, who're now ready to have Portland's economy rise again.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Autopsy Sunday on female found in remote area of Berks
People paying respect to loved ones as car overturns in cemetery
Easter bunny train sparks brush fires in Phillipsburg area
Police arrest 13 during Allentown drug raid
Woman 'critical' after crash with truck near Kutztown
Police charge suspect in Bethlehem Twp. hit-and-run
Police search for woman accused of beating, stabbing man
Beauty supply bandits target local grocery stores
Wreck closes Route 309 in Lehigh County
Car, tow truck get stuck on embankment in Berks County