Wolf Administration Announces Additional Funding for Flood Protection for Solomon Creek Area Residents

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin was joined by Senator John Yudichak, Representative Eddie Day Pashinski, and Mayor Anthony G. George to announce the approval of more than $1.4 million in additional funding through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program to protect the city of Wilkes-Barre from flooding originating from Solomon Creek. This final piece of funding comes after years of the administration working with the community to identify several sources of funding to enable the full repair of the flood wall.

“This funding is great news for Wilkes-Barre residents and businesses near Solomon Creek, who for too long have been under regular threat of flood damage to their property,” Secretary Davin said. “By rebuilding the flood walls, we’re able to give the community a sense of security that hasn’t been felt since before 2011. It’s a great example of Governor Wolf’s commitment to community development all across Pennsylvania.”

In 2011, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee battered Wilkes-Barre, causing massive flooding in the area and permanently damaging the protective flood walls designed to prevent flooding in approximately 750 homes. Though several sources of funding were identified in the ensuing years, the funding was not enough to fully repair the flood wall. In 2016, the damage caused a 40-foot section of the wall to collapse into the creek. Working with city officials and state and local elected representatives, the administration was able to secure additional Disaster Recovery funding in both 2017 and 2018. With this additional funding, the flood walls can be fully reconstructed to protect local homes and businesses.

“Today’s announcement of $1.4 million dollars in Disaster Recovery funds for the city of Wilkes-Barre adds to the collective effort by state and local officials who have secured over $10 million to fully restore the Solomon Creek flood control system,” said Senator Yudichak. “We are very grateful to DCED Secretary Dennis Davin who recognized that the Solomon Creek project has an immediate impact on delivering flood protection for the residents of Wilkes-Barre and a broader impact on the regional economy of Luzerne County.

The Disaster Recovery funding is part of more than $6 million in state funding and $4 million in city funding through bond refinancing made available for Solomon Creek flood protection in the past few years.

“This funding is a testament to the good work that can come from all levels of government working together in the best interest of those we serve,” Representative Pashinski said. “From Senators Casey and Toomey to Congressman Cartwright, to Governor Wolf and state Senator Yudichak, to Mayor George as well as countless other local officials, we came together and found a way to get the funding for Solomon Creek. I’m incredibly appreciative to everyone who helped make this possible and I’m thrilled that residents and businesses of south Wilkes-Barre will finally have a safe flood system.”

“As elected leaders, we have the responsibility of protecting our residents, which is why the Solomon Creek Wall project is my administration’s number one priority,” said Mayor George. “This is a huge accomplishment and is reflective of the cohesive relationship Wilkes-Barre has with our representatives and the state. I thank Senator Yudichak and his staff for their constant support and assistance in securing funding for this project, as well as Secretary Davin, Senator Casey, Senator Toomey, Congressman Cartwright, and Representative Pashinski, whose support has enabled us to finally be able to begin the Solomon Creek Project.”

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to community development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube

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