PINE GROVE — In Schuylkill County, a community plagued by flooding is doing something about it. The government is buying up homes which have been flooded.
Every couple of year,s people in Pine Grove have to deal with flooding. Pictures from September, 2011 show it and that’s when water from Swatara Creek was receding.
We met flood victim Lisa Tobias in what’s left of her home. The place along East Pottsville Street has been hit by four floods in the past 10 years. Tobias said the last one left nearly three feet on the first floor.
“It’s sad, it’s hard to come back here. There is not a day that goes by that you don’t think about it, lots of tears still tears, still tears,” said Tobias.
She is one of 12 property owners to have the government buy their homes. The places will then be demolished and no future building will be allowed. Tobias said her family is grateful for the help.
“We won’t walk away with a ton of money. I don’t want anyone to think that we` re making out or anything like that. I just think it’s going to help us out financially recoup what we put into this home,” said Tobias.
Pine Grove officials said $1.3 million is being spent by the federal, state, and local governments on the buyout program.
Borough engineer Heath Machamer said with the homes gone, it should cut down on backed up water from flooding.
“We’re going to be able to then coordinate the bids for the demolition of homes and then we’d anticipate in early in 2013 and have them open green space,” said Machamer.
Not all homeowners are in favor of the buyout program. One homeowner said he’s unhappy simply because he’s not getting the appraised value of his property.