When last September's flood waters swept through much of Bradford County, Athens Borough was among the most devastated.

Months later there are still empty store fronts and boarded-up homes. There are things that will never be replaced. But within the Valley community there is hope for recovery.

As reported by Review reporter Amanda Renko, Athens officials are interested in further improvements to the Susquehanna riverbank, as well as moving forward with repairing the Chemung River levee. The DCED awarded the borough a $452,000 H2O PA grant in January to permanently repair a damaged 400-foot section of the levee. Those funds will cover 20 percent of the total cost to rehabilitate the section, with the other 80 percent to be covered by the Army Corps of Engineers. It is expected the Army Corps of Engineers will release their plans soon for the levee, allowing the project to proceed.

Pennsylvania's Secretary of Community and Economic Development, C. Alan Walker, met with Athens borough officials on Wednesday. After touring the riverbank, the levee and other flood-affected areas, he said the borough was doing everything right and he was pleased with the progress.

He added that he was especially happy to see the community's spirit and pride, something he said isn't always present in disaster-affected communities. Plus, he said FEMA officials he spoke with were amazed at the ability of the Athens residents to come together to solve a really big problem.

It's a most-fitting tribute to all involved.