Long-Awaited Flood Protection Project

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MOUNT CARMEL -- A flood protection project should get underway this month in Northumberland County.

Water Street in Mount Carmel lived up to its name in September of 2010. Storm water drains became clogged and there was nowhere for Shamokin Creek to go. It flooded dozens of homes as it's done in times past.

The waterway looks peaceful now but officials know any heavy rain can cause more flooding.  Mayor Kevin Jones said he and other officials have a solution: deepen the creek and put up better walls to keep it in check.

"Some of the walls caving in the creek filling up, the creek filling up with debris and we hope to eliminate all of that."

At the Hard Coal Cafe where the owners are glad to hear that help is on the way. Skip Foulke owns the business.

"We had 5 1/2 feet in the basement, lost a lot of brand new equipment we bought for a remodel. I think we dodged a couple bullets this year so were waiting."

Flood victim Michle Krah remembers images of the swollen creek and what it did to her home.

"It flooded out basement four separate times, we lost four furnaces, a lot of cleanup a lot of mess."

Krah said she worries every time it rains.

"I get very nervous. I want to make sure I'm home in case it happens again, I know you can't stop it but I don't like to leave."

Ground will be broken for the project sometime this month and will be a welcome sight to area residents.

The cost of the project is about $13 million, all of that from grants.

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