Flood Protection Projects Approved

August 23, 2018

PLAINS TWP. — The Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority on Tuesday approved four projects designed to reduce flood risk along the Susquehanna River in northeastern Luzerne County.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently deemed the projects to be compatible with the ongoing Wyoming Valley Levee-raising project, authority Executive Director Christopher Belleman said Tuesday.

The projects include:

• The installation of a river gauge on the Coxton Road bridge over the Lackawanna River, in Duryea, near the confluence of the Susquehanna River. The gauge will enable better measurement of backflow water levels from the Susquehanna during flooding events, and will help Duryea officials in emergency response efforts. The project’s estimated cost is $25,000.

• The installation of a similar river gauge along the Susquehanna River in West Pittston. It will provide more accurate measurements of the river’s water level during flooding events, which will assist officials with emergency response.

The project’s estimated cost Is $25,000.

• The authority will work with West Pittston to prepare an application for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System Program, or CRS. The program “provides community credit for activities taken in prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery.” The authority will work with West Pittston officials to improve the borough’s CRS score, which could help lower flood insurance premiums for property owners, as well as improve emergency preparedness. The project’s estimated cost is $20,000.

• The authority will also assist West Pittston in gathering data on flood-impacted structures “to determine appropriate flood damage reduction strategies.” The data will be used to update a flood warning response system database, which would assist emergency responders with making informed decisions about road closures and evacuations. The project’s estimated cost is $25,000.

The projects must still be approved by a flood mitigation advisory board, which next meets Sept. 6. That board includes representatives of Columbia, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder counties.

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