“My prayers go out to them, because I know what they're going through,” said offensive tackle Eric Shrive, a Scranton native. “It's unbelievable. You see the videos and stuff, and you can't even imagine it. I hope they're all safe and whoever is coming here Saturday gets here safely.”
The Nittany Lions face No. 3 Alabama at Beaver Stadium Saturday. Many of the 100,000-plus who pack the facility each football weekend hail from northeast Pennsylvania, better known in these parts as the Coal Region because production of the fossil fuel is one of the key industries in the area.
Several highways in the Coal Region have been closed due to flooding, calling into question the ability of fans from the area to safely travel to University Park for the key game with the Crimson Tide.
Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin was a teammate of Shrive's at West Scranton High. Though the floods have not impacted Scranton nearly as much as they have nearby Wilkes-Barre, McGloin is worried about his family and friends.
“It's pretty bad,” he said. “Unfortunately, I'm not there with them. I'd like to see if there is anything I can do to help.”
Shrive is “knocking on wood” because his family has not been affected by the flooding yet. McGloin is thankful, too. But they both realize it may be a challenge for their respective families to make it to Saturday's game.
To get from Scranton to University Park, travelers must drive through some of the areas that have been devastated by flooding.
“They closed some highways, so (his family is) worried about getting down here Saturday,” McGloin said. “Hopefully it is cleared up.”
Added Shrive: 'It'll be tricky. But my father will get here. If he has to take a boat, he'll be here.”