WINDHAM TOWNSHIP -- Elected officials in Bradford County want residents to know they are trying to come up with a solution after last week's flash flooding damaged dozens of homes.
Local officials want more control over what happens with streams. They intend to bring concerns and ideas to state and federal lawmakers at a meeting next month. In Bradford County Monday morning, they bounced ideas off each other and residents affected by last week's flooding.
Around 50 people gathered inside the Windham Township Volunteer Fire Station near Rome to discuss what's been on just about everyone's mind for over a week -- flood damage.
There was a lot of it. Flash flooding damaged more than 40 homes in northeastern Bradford County last week.
"It washed around our house and we lost some property. We didn't have a lot of damages, but still, over and over again, every time it rains," said Marcus Wilson.
Bradford County commissioners met with township supervisors throughout the county to discuss concerns, and ideas to fix those concerns.
"Enough is enough with this. This happens all the time in all these surrounding counties up here in the northern tier," said Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko.
Local lawmakers say they want more control over what happens with local streams. There are state laws regulating who can and cannot do stream maintenance. Local officials here would like that control.
"These townships know how to fix it. They can do it and they're not allowed to. The legislators need to change the laws," said Commissioner McLinko.
Representatives from PEMA and the Department of Environmental Protection were at the meeting to meet with homeowners. Several residents who had flood damage came to the meeting.
"To see if they're going to fix the problem. The creeks? They're bad," said township resident Sheila Clymer.
"Hopefully they can get someplace. It's always, 'hear this, hear that.' and you never see nothing done," added Rodney Clymer.
There is a town hall meeting planned for later this year. State and federal officials are expected to attend, as well as commissioners from surrounding counties. Bradford County officials hope to hash out a solution at that meeting.
Folks in this part of Bradford County are also dealing with some closed roads.
Flash flooding washed out roadways and damaged bridges. There are quite a few places PennDOT is now working. Many of the flooded roads are now back open but others will take longer.
"It is an inconvenience, but let's get them fixed. Hopefully fix them right and then they won't have this problem again," said Sheila Clymer.
As elected officials and some residents gathered inside the Windham Township fire station to discuss the flood damage, PennDOT was there, too.
State Representative Jared McMicken told everyone Leraysville Road (SR 1049) is not expected to open until the end of August. a contractor needs to be hired to fix the damaged bridge.
"It's a specialized process to get under there and fix that undermined bridge that department forces can't do, unfortunately," said Rep. McMicken.
Residents said the bridge was in bad shape before the storm. Since then it was damaged so badly it has to be fixed.
Battle Creek Road (SR1055) in nearby Rome Township is also closed. PennDOT expects it to open by August 14.
Residents worry what will happen if emergency responders need to get to their homes.
Marcus Wilson lives near the bridge on Leraysville Road.
"We have to go up into New York State to get back to our house in Pennsylvania. I'm maybe five minutes from here but it takes us about 10, 15, 20 minutes," Wilson said.
McMicken says PennDOT has at least four crews working 12-hour shifts on the projects. PennDOT is borrowing resources from nearby counties.
"Pipe flusher, an excavator, some barricades, some message boards that helped New York State, that all shows when times like this happen, everyone comes together," said McMicken.