Help is on the way for local areas battered by recent flooding.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday the availability of $6.25 million for streambank restoration and recovery efforts in flood-stricken areas of northcentral and eastern Pennsylvania,
The governor directed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to provide the required cost-share for the projects so that eligible projects will be available at no cost to local governments. The funding will assist communities recovering from the recent floods and help them prepare for future storm events.
“Getting our communities back on their feet after these floods is one of my administration’s top priorities, and these grants to local governments will help make sure that flooding can be reduced in the future,” Wolf said. “DEP will work collaboratively with the federal government on the design, permitting, and construction of these projects so that we can ensure long-term protection from flooding.”
Funding will be available for Berks, Bradford, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northampton, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties for the flooding events that occurred this summer. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 15 by the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“Restoring and repairing streambanks in these areas can help protect residents from future flooding,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We are grateful to NRCS for making this funding available and are looking forward to working with affected local governments to begin this important work.”
NRCS will provide 75 percent of restoration funding, with DEP providing the 25 percent match for eligible projects.
Projects eligible for funding include removing debris from waterways, reseeding damaged areas, and protecting eroded streambanks from further damage. Funding is not available to repair or maintain existing structures or repair damage to homes and businesses caused by floodwater.
First-responders made numerous water rescues throughout Berks and Chester counties during the heavy rainstorms this summer. Drivers are reminded of the to "turn around, don't drown" campaign, and to find another way to get to your destination instead of driving through flooded roadways. The water can be deeper than it appears.