Volunteers work to clean up flooding debris along Otter Creek

LOWER CHANCEFORD TOWNSHIP, York County, Pa. --- Debris lines the banks of the Otter Creek

Stephen Mohr, preserves manager for the Lancaster County Conservancy, said catastrophic flooding in August swept away homes and mobile properties, taking everything inside with them.

“What’s resulted is just kind of debris and remnants of those homes strewn across the property, in the creek and in the woods,” said Mohr.

The Lancaster County Conservancy is spearheading an effort to return the creek to its previous state by clearing the objects left behind.

“Our concern is from the environmental end. We don’t want all this stuff to end up in the Susquehanna River then the Chesapeake,” said Mohr.

One of the challenges facing the efforts include the terrain surrounding the creek.

Mohr said it's impossible to bring equipment down to the banks along the creek.

He said for that reason, they're relying on hands and feet to sort and remove the debris.

15 volunteers, including Elizabethtown College students Amelia Baker and Dante Allen, joined Thursday on the first day of the clean-up efforts.

“I like to think a lot about the preservations of our lands and the Lancaster County Conservancy really focuses on that aspect of saving the nature that is around us,” said Baker.

“We want to make it a better world for our kids, and our kid’s kids and so on so if we help now, we can have a better tomorrow and not have to worry about these problems down the road,” said Allen.

Mohr said the Lancaster County Conservancy is asking for more volunteers to help with their long project ahead.

He said they're keeping mind of people who are affected by the pieces they pick up.

“We’re really trying to be respectful of the fact that what we’re working with is the remnants of their homes and it’s not just trash out here,” said Mohr.

Another clean-up event this Saturday, December 15 from 9am-4pm.

More events have been scheduled for Thursday, January 10 and Thursday, January 24 from 9am-4pm.

For more information on events and how to help, visit the Lancaster County Conservancy website or their Facebook page.

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