County Seeks to Continue Flood-prone Property Buybacks

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MEHOOPANY -- Five years after historic flooding hit parts of Wyoming County, officials are looking at buying a second round of flood-prone properties.

Back in 2011, parts of Mehoopany were under water. Homes that were damaged or destroyed are now merely plots of grass all because FEMA and PEMA assisted the county with buying nearly 20 properties which may flood again. The buildings, or what was left, were torn down.

"These two properties are now green space, they can never be built on again. There’s some things that can be done with them," said Wyoming County Emergency Management Director Gene Dziak. "Now the properties have been turned over to the municipalities."

Dziak toured some of the properties which qualified for the first round of the program with representatives of FEMA and PEMA.

They took pictures documenting how the land looks at the end of phase one of the program. Folks who lived through the flooding believe the program is a good move.

"It was a better thing they did buy them out cuz it was a lot of people who tried to rebuild and ended up flooded again, good thing the government bought them out," said Joyce Dickinson.

A large building in Tunkhannock was one of the first torn down after floods of 2011. Now the borough owns it and nothing is allowed to be built in its place ever again.

If it floods again, there’s grass there. No buildings have damage on inside or outside to worry about," said Casey Hoover.

Now Wyoming County is preparing for a second round of buyouts by lining up the money and getting additional property owners on board.

"They don’t have to do this but if you’re in a flood zone now may be the opportunity we may be able to help residents who continue to be flooded," said Dziak.

A meeting will be held September 29th at the Wyoming County Emergency Services Building in the Tunkhannock area. Wyoming County EMA

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