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.
English: Hurricane Irene over North Carolina, United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Met-Ed and PPLelectric utilities have to improve their tree-trimming and line maintenance so that preventable outages like those that occurred during the major storms of 2011 can be reduced or eliminated.
The utilities also must be more responsive to customers during major storms, according to three reports critical of the utilities, issued this week by the state Public Utility Commission.
The reports were ordered in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene last August, flooding rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee in early September, and the freak late October snowstorm.
“Tree trimming should be a primary concern for both the (electric utilities) and commission for its effect on reliability as well as its role in long-duration outages,” the report said.
Here are some pictures of flooding in Sullivan County from Tropical Storm Lee. These pictures are of the road between Worlds End State Park & Forksville just to give you an idea how Mother Nature & the Loyalsock can disagree. In the last picture, the upper right corner, is the Sullivan County Fairgrounds which also had a lot of damage.
Last week’s massive flooding in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has left 13 people dead. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) listed 13 possible storm-related deaths on Sunday in the following counties:
3 Lancaster, 2 Bradford, 2 Dauphin, 2 Lebanon, 1 Chester, 1 Luzerne, 1 Philadelphia and 1 York.
Four major bridges remain closed after last week’s heavy flooding in the Wyoming Valley. The Market Street Bridge, Eighth Street Bridge, Water Street Bridge and the Stone Bridge are all closed to traffic. This has created congestion problems on the North Cross Valley Expressway. If you are traveling in the Wilkes-Barre area, you may want to allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
The Susquehanna River crested nearly four feet higher in Wilkes-Barre than originally announced. A gauge malfunctioned that measures the river level. The river actually crested at a level higher than Hurricane Agnes in 1972 (40.91 feet) and set a record of 42.66 feet Friday morning.
This high level of water is straining the levee system to its maximum. Water is leaking into downtown Wilkes-Barre through the flood gates on the Market Street Bridge.
The levee at Forty Fort is also compromised and in danger of collapse. Governor Corbett has strongly urged Wyoming Valley residents to head evacuation warnings.
Evidently it is not uncommon for gauges to malfunction during high water events.