New Proposal to Deal with Flooding in Luzerne County

AVOCA, Pa. -- People in Avoca dread seeing when ice chunks clog Mill Creek and pile up against the York Avenue bridge. It means major flooding problems, especially for Litzy's Lounge.

"They ruin it. A lady put her life into this place and it keeps getting battered down," said Daniel Tolan of Duryea.

But a new plan by Governor Tom Wolf called 'Restore PA' aims to fix flooding problems like this.

Avoca needs $1.5 million to raise the York Avenue bridge and fix the concrete channels.

"It's not functioning as designed. It's not giving us what we need here in town to alleviate these problems of flooding so I certainly hope that this is a good first step in securing the funding for the remediation of this project here," said Avoca Council President John Boone.

But the governor's plan relies on funding from a severance tax on natural gas companies.

In his first term, Wolf had no success in getting such a tax passed by the Republican legislature.

'Restore PA' is little more than a proposal right now.

"I hope it goes through. I really would like to see something happen here because we can't afford this. Every year it's flooding some of the houses, the business down the street, it's hard," said Mary Ann Gilchrist.

Right now the water level on Mill Creek is low and neighbors say they could get heavy rain and these concrete walls still hold everything off just fine but it's the ice chunks that cause a big problem.

"Hopefully with everything going on, I hope the Governor gets some money for the project. I hope it gets done very soon for my neighbors," Ron Warunek said.

A spokesman for the governor says the funding bill has not yet been presented to the legislature for consideration.

Safe to say funding for 'Restore PA' won't be available to communities like Avoca anytime soon.

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