Force Of Tropical Storm Lee Still Felt As 69 Houses Face Demolition In Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost two years after Tropical Storm Lee, the cleanup continues as houses damaged by flooding along the swollen Swatara Creek and later bought by the federal government are being demolished.

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.

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Schuylkill Among Rivers Nominated For State’s 2013 ‘Best’ List

Six rivers have been nominated for Pennsylvania’s 30th annual “River of the Year” award, which the public can vote on through Jan. 18.

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Philadelphia region’s very own Schuylkill River is among the nominees this year, with the award’s state and non-profit sponsors touting the 128-mile Schuylkill’s resurrection from a “dead river in the mid-1900s” to one that “touches countryside and urban life” alike.

But the votes aren’t flowing as quickly for the Schuylkill in the first week of voting as some of its competitors. The other nominees are: the Juniata River and Swatara Creek in southcentral Pennsylvania; the Kiskiminetas River and Monongahela River in the southwest and Lackawanna River in the northeast.  The contest’s first week of voting, Dec. 18 through Dec. 24, put the Schuylkill in third place with 19 percent.  The Lackawanna has 31 percent and the Monongahela has 22 percent.

“We still have three weeks to go, so we’re hoping for a push,” Schuylkill River Development Corp. President and CEO Joe Syrnick said today.

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Harrisburg Area Starting Massive Cleanup And Return Of Services

The Harrisburg area is starting to clean up and services are coming back online after the Great Flood of 2011.  The Susquehanna River is back under flood stage along with the Swatara Creek

Capital Area Transit services will resume on Monday.

Linda Thompson, Harrisburg‘s Mayor, is ending the curfew and state of emergency tonight at 9 p.m.  The mayor said she was pleased with Harriburg’s overall condition.

Amtrak service between Harrisburg and Lancaster is still out of commission today.  Still no word on train travel between the two cities for Monday.

There are still about 500 PPL customers in Shipoke, Midtown and Uptown without power.

City Island Parking is closed on Monday.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Closed Between Harrisburg East And Reading Interchanges

Pennsylvania Turnpike Bristol/New Jersey Exten...

Image via Wikipedia

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has closed a 39-mile section of the toll road due to a bridge in Dauphin County being threatened by rising flood waters from the Swatara Creek.

To find out the suggested detour routes, click here: