BLOOMSBURG — Federal officials told Bloomsburg leaders recently they will not fund a flood protection project.
Bloomsburg Mayor Dan Knorr said the town`s flood protection plan has been in the works for decades, about 30 years.
The most recent version of the plan included building a levee to protect part of the town slammed by flood waters back in September.
Then came a recent letter from the Army Corps of Engineers; it said the government will not be pitching in the millions needed to build that levee.
“This is a levee system — part of it is earth, part of it is concrete — that would protect the west end of Bloomsburg. It would have protected hundreds of homes and two of our major industries here in Bloomsburg. It would have been a $50 million to $70 million project and the federal government would have been sharing about 75 percent of that cost,” said Mayor Knorr.
Newswatch 16 found people affected by the flood waters in September who are still cleaning up their homes.
“We had four and a half feet of water on our first floor, so we had to cut the entire first floor and everything in the basement,” said Kim Pomana of Bloomsburg.
The news that there will not be a levee on the Susquehanna River was devastating.
“If that can’t be done, it needs to be dredged. It needs to have the locks up. Something needs to be done to protect the residents,” said Pomana.
“There would be less damage, there really would, less heartache. I lost all my baby pictures, I lost everything. I have nothing left from my kids,” said Renee Lawton.
Bloomsburg’s mayor said the major plan may be dead in the water, but he will continue to focus on protecting the town and its residents.
“We are absolutely committed to trying to find ways to mitigate, not only to protect jobs, but to protect lives, to make sure, you know, they’re not in danger from flooding,” said Knorr.