State Grants Will Help Replace Flood Pumps Damaged in Exeter

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EXETER -- A $580,000 state grant will be used to replace two storm water pumps in Exeter damaged by historic flooding in 2006.

Borough employee Karen Szwast said she wrote the grant application, which will be used for a flood protection system that will be used to minimize flooding in Hicks Creek when the Susquehanna River floods.

“(The new pumps have) a lot more pumping capability. While it's only a couple inches, it really is a lot more volume being able to be moved," said Szwast. "The end all be all would probably be a $13 million pumping station that would be owned and operated by the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority, as do other pumping stations along the river."

Exeter council members told Newswatch 16 that when the overhauled storm water pumps are built, the borough will no longer be forced to rent or borrow pumps.

"If they don't have any available, we're stuck. We have to go someplace else. So, thank goodness that we’re getting these new pumps," said Tom Shannon. “It will solve a lot of problems financially for the borough and the residents."

Brad Altavilla said he was relieved to hear that funding was made available to prevent future flooding in the creek that runs behind his backyard.

“I'm just happy that we were not going to have to worry anymore about if our house is going to get flooded or not," said Altavilla.

Szwast said the project will be bid out this summer and that construction will likely start early next year.