Sunday, October 23, 2016

Wolf Tours Flood Damage In Northcentral PA, Gives Update On State Response, Pipeline Spill

Gov. Tom Wolf, Acting Secretary of Environmental Protection Patrick McDonnell and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Richard D. Flinn Jr. Sunday toured flood damage in Northcentral Pennsylvania and gave an update on the state’s response.  
On Thursday night, heavy rainfall dropped in excess of six inches of rain causing flash flooding in some towns across the center of the commonwealth, including areas of Centre, Clinton, Lycoming, Bradford and Sullivan Counties.
“Pennsylvania state agencies, local officials, and first responders worked quickly to ensure the safety and well-being residents and mitigate the effects of the storm,” Governor Wolf said. “Director Flinn, Acting Secretary McDonnell, Secretary Richards, and I will continue to monitor this situation and ensure the counties have the support they need as clean-up continues.”
PEMA reports that the Incident Management Team deployed to Sullivan County has demobilized and returned to Harrisburg.
PEMA staff are currently working with county personnel to conduct damage assessments in the affected areas. Teams will spend several days compiling damage reports to gather a comprehensive picture of the extent of the damage.
“While the floodwaters have receded, we know that the recovery process has just begun,” said Flinn. “We will stay in touch with county personnel to ensure survivors have quick access to whatever support the Commonwealth can provide.”
Sunoco Pipeline Spill
DEP reports that the Sunoco pipeline has been capped at both ends and is being examined by Sunoco for additional leaks. The estimated release was 55,000 gallons of gasoline from the pipeline.
“DEP staff will continue to monitor water systems that could be affected by this spill,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “And looking forward, DEP will be working with the communities affected by these floods to rebuild bridges and culverts in the area.”
Sampling along Loyalsock Creek and the Susquehanna River found gasoline-related contaminants, but only one sample (from Loyalsock Creek, near the break) was over the Maximum Contaminant Level safe drinking water standard.
Additional sampling is being done farther down the Susquehanna River in the Harrisburg area. Public water systems have been notified.
In Centre County, PennDOT reports that flooding in Milesburg was significant and affected many local roads. Impacted state roads include SR 3006 (Valleyview Road) in Benner Township which is restricted due to a stump blocking a pipe.
The 4-lane section of SR 144 between Milesburg and Wingate is also restricted due to flooding. In addition, there are some shoulder washouts in the low lying areas of SR 1002 (Marsh Creek Road).
Debris clean-up has begun and the department continues to work with municipalities and emergency management teams
“During these trying times, it is of utmost importance to keep safety at the forefront,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “We will continue to keep those affected by the flooding aware of travel restrictions, road closures and their subsequent openings. We encourage patience as we work through this storm together.”
Impact to Lycoming County was more devastating. PennDOT crews were deployed to close roads and begin assessments of damage on October 21, with inspectors, maintenance, and design staff working around the clock throughout the weekend.
Three emergency contracts have been executed to address the most critical areas and provide access to residents and inspection teams at sections of SR 1004 and SR 1003.
Emergency contracts started this morning in the Hillsgrove area in Sullivan County to address TR 87 and SR4010 and SR 1006 from Bodines to Kellysburg in Lycoming County.
According to PennDOT, 144 of the 154 bridge inspections have been completed with the remaining ten scheduled for Monday. At this writing, three bridges will require replacement, nine others will require repairs and 23 will require scour repair and debris removal.
Five roads (Lycoming SRs 1003 & 1006 and Sullivan SRs 87, 4001, 4010) are closed due to flooding. Permanent detours are being signed today and work will continue thru tomorrow.
Preliminary damage estimates and list of contract needs should be available by the evening of Monday, October 24.

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