Friday, December 16, 2022

Schuylkill County Floodplain Restoration Project Wins National Recognition

The national
Council of State Community Development Agencies and Schuylkill County Commissioners recently recognized a Schuylkill County flood reduction project in Pine Grove Borough with its Sterling Achievement Award for Disaster Recovery.

On September 8, 2011, Tropical Storm Lee produced over 15 inches of rainfall in the 120 square mile Upper Swatara Creek watershed. 

The north end of Pine Grove Borough is where the most severe flooding impacts the town, 180 residential dwellings, numerous commercial businesses, and the town’s largest employer (Guilford Mills with over 300 employees) were severely impacted. Guilford Mills had 36 inches of water inside its facility.

The Swatara Creek Flood Control Project utilized approximately 50 acres of open land on the east side of the Swatara Creek to develop a naturalized floodplain area that would alleviate the majority of flooding on the west side of the creek. 

In the process, the elevation of the land on the east side of the creek was four to five feet, wetlands restored and roads and utilities relocated.

The Project also restored 10.5 acres of floodplain area to help decrease flooding in the north end of Pine Grove Borough.

The project created new wetlands, riparian zones, and stabilized 400 feet of streambank along the creek. 

$2,567,032 of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovering Funding and $500,000 of Growing Greener Grant money were used to help fund the project. The project was completed in 2021 and came in under budget.

The award was presented to Clauser Environmental, LLC, the company that did the work on the project. Attending the awards ceremony for DEP was Caitlin A.L. Skibiel, DEP Conservation District Field Representative.

This Sterling award recognizes state programs that have demonstrated, during a sustained period, positive results in improving the lives of lower income persons in disaster recovery, including flood control projects.

Click Here for the complete announcement.

[Posted: December 16, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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