During the past few weeks, local municipalities have hired contractors to remove the houses, purchased through the Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s Hazard Mitigation Program. Buyouts from FEMA were determined by the cost of rebuilding the house and future flood insurance claims.
At least 69 houses have been targeted for demolition, almost all of them on land near or adjacent to Swatara Creek. The total cost is $8 million with the municipalities carrying 3 percent, or $250,000, of the cost.
But the long-term effects of the demolition will be bourn by the localities, as the properties slip from tax rolls and elected leaders are left wondering what to do with flood-prone vacant lots.