Wolf Administration Announces Funding for Flood Protection for Bloomsburg Residents

Bloomsburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin joined Senator John Gordner, Representative David Millard, and other elected officials to announce the approval of funding to support a comprehensive flood protection project for the town of Bloomsburg. This announcement comes after years of the administration working with the community to secure funding to enable the project to begin, and is the first recent, major flood protection project focused on specifically protecting residents.

“Protecting residents and businesses from the costly, potentially life-altering effects of major flooding has been one of the Wolf Administration’s top priorities for Bloomsburg,” Secretary Davin said. “By continually fighting to secure this funding to mitigate the flood issues that have plagued residents in this area, we’re now able to help improve the lives of families who live here while encouraging economic development for businesses. This flood protection project will play a critical role in Bloomsburg’s future growth.”

The $10.75 million in funding, secured by DCED from the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program, will enable Bloomsburg to undertake the flood protection project that will help community facilities, including the local high school, and more than 100 homes in the town from future flooding from the Susquehanna River. The comprehensive project includes the construction of approximately 4,700 linear feet of earthen levy, installation of several street closure and control systems, and installation of new storm water and sanitary sewer systems and a pumping station to alleviate flooding for the entire town during future storm events. The levy will be constructed primarily on land owned by the town in the southern sector north of Fort McClure Boulevard. The levy wall will extend from the existing levy wall located near Barton Street, surround the middle school, and extend from Railroad to Center Street.

While several projects have already addressed protecting Bloomsburg business from flooding, this project marks the first comprehensive plan to protect residents.

“The announcement of this substantial grant is a milestone in Bloomsburg’s efforts to protect more of the town from the ravages of flooding,” said Senator Gordner. “I want to thank Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary Dennis Davin for being persistent partners for their pursuit of these federal monies with Representative David Millard and myself.”

Bloomsburg is subject to a significant flood hazard, with floods occurring an average of every five years since the record flood of Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The most notable recent example occurred in September 2011, when Tropical Storm Lee ravaged the town and caused the flood level to reach 32.75 feet. In addition to severe widespread property damage, the flood forced the town to cancel the annual Bloomsburg Fair, a significant economic driver in the area.

“The announcement of this grant funding is excellent news for Bloomsburg as many entities work in cooperation to protect even more homes and businesses from flooding,” said Representative David R Millard. “Unity of purpose in dealing with this problem has been key. It’s been gratifying to see the work that Senator Gordner and I have done on this project being supported on the state and federal levels.”

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, and LinkedIn.

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132

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