The Town of Bloomsburg, the only incorporated town in Pennsylvania, is located 40 miles southwest of Wilks-Barre, Pennsylvania. It has a total of 4.7 square miles and is home to more than 14,000 people. Along the Town, runs the mighty Susquehanna River. The Town of Bloomsburg has become unwillingly familiar with the river due to countless flooding events. As far back as 1902, the town has been recording the levels of flood water that have majorly impacted the town. In 2011 when Tropical Storm Lee caused flooding that reached record high levels of 32.75 feet and it turned the town upside down. This heart wrenching event caused an estimated $100 million dollars in damages to the town’s people. People lost priceless valuables such as pictures, jewelry and other sentimental items that can never be replaced. Homes were washed off their foundations. Vehicles were damaged beyond repair. The iconic Bloomsburg Fair was cancelled for the first time in history. Local business Autoneum, sustained over $60 million in damages. Since the historic flood of 2011, Bloomsburg Town officials have been working diligently to create measures that can prevent that amount of damage again. The Town of Bloomsburg has been working with SEDA-COG to build a floodwall around the outside of town to prevent floodwaters from entering the town. Over 100 homes, 30 businesses, the Bloomsburg’s Fire Department, the Bloomsburg’s Public Works Department, and the Bloomsburg Area Middle and High Schools will all be served by this project. The anticipated cost to fund this project is $17 million. The Town of Bloomsburg will be using $10.2 million of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds to pay for the project’s costs. Bloomsburg Area Middle and High School will provide funds to cover construction costs on its own ground as well as a portion of engineering and project inspection costs. State Act 13, Community Development Block Grant Entitlement funds, and Wyoming County Levee Raising Funding allocated by the Columbia County Commissioners are all anticipated to finance the remaining necessary funding. In addition to the floodwall project, major storm water and sanitary sewer infrastructure upgrades are proposed for the current project. These upgrades are anticipated to have town-wide benefits, and the completed project will be operated and maintained by the Columbia County Water Mitigation Authority. By working with SEDA-COG and the engineering firm Borton Lawson, the Town has developed a map of where the floodwall will be placed and the homes that will be directly affected by this floodwall. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Lauren Martz at 570-784-7123 ext. 125.
Proposed Floodwall Expansion Project Timelines:
- Summer 2018 – Final Design and Project Regulatory Permitting Approvals
- Fall 2018 – Construction Contractor Selected / Contract Preparation / Early Construction Action Items
- Winter 2018-2019 – Contractor Shop Drawings / Early Construction Action Items
- Year 2019 – Majority of Project Construction Complete
- Spring to early Summer 2020 – Finalize System Construction / Site Restoration / Construction Complete
- Fall 2020 – Flood Insurance Rate Map Revision by FEMA