Members of the area fire agencies have been busy working to help others handle the abundant amounts water from the rain. During the month of June, the Hawley Fire Department received 10 calls, not including those about flooding, said Fire Chief Scott Mead at Palmyra Township’s July 1st meeting.
Supervisor and Vice Chairman, William Hamby asked the board to adopt a declaration of disaster emergency for the township because of the destruction caused by the rain. The declaration, he explained, will allow the township and private individuals who have sustained damage to apply for compensation for the expenses through the proper, “channels through county, state and federal emergency management agencies.”
The county, he said, has declared a state of emergency; therefore, “I strongly urge that the board adopt this declaration to help out with the expenses.”
The board adopted the declaration and now citizens who have sustained damage, Steffen said their first step is to contact the township at 226-6566. If not during normal business hours they should contact Wayne County Emergency Management at 253-1622.
Hamby said people need to make a list of things that were damaged and provide an estimate of the expense. For private individuals, he recommended people to document the damage with photos along with submitting a list to the township.
Supervisor Chairman and Assistant Road Master, Pete Steffen said for those who have damage it is important that they submit their name to the local admissible authority.
Chief Mead said that on Sunday June 30, the Hawley Fire Department responded to 25 calls, and by working with other agencies the department was able to help those in need. Hhe said the area received five inches of rain in three hours. Aside from the basements and roads that were flooded, Chestnut Avenue and Prospect Street in Hawley Borough were badly damaged and are closed at this time.
As of Monday, there was also quite a bit of materials in the roads and a sink hole had opened in Settlers Village, Hawley, that was about four foot round and a foot and a half deep, he said. After examining the area, Mead said it looked as if Palmyra Township seemed to be alright, except Rocky Run and State Road by Ridge Avenue had some issue, but wasn't specific.
Working basically from noon to 10 p.m. Mead said members of the department checked on people and made dikes and dams because of the water. On Monday, he said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) checked the area and so people who have been affected, he said, will receive help. Looking at road conditions, Mead said as far as he knew road repair is over and the cost will be a quarter of a million dollars and that doesn’t include personal property and other items.
Page 2 of 2 - Sinkhole in yard
A member of the public expressed her concern regarding what further heavy rain could do to a pipe on her property. She said there was a large sinkhole in the family’s yard because of the rain. She asked about how emergency management compensation affects private insurance.
Township Secretary Lois Powderly explained that the county must gather information first and that will be sent to Harrisburg, where a final decision will be made. Hamby said, however, everything only starts when people report the damage to the township or county. By following the appropriate steps, he said there is a better chance that the area will receive a presidential declaration and federal compensation.
Supervisor and Road Master Joseph Kmetz reported that a pipe near Rocky View Road needs some work as a result of the rain because of a problem with a pipe in the road. He did not specify what the problem was.
WAYCO Incorporated out of Waymart won the paving project for Beach Nut Drive with a low bid of $4,5551.20. Having done work for the township in the past, Kmetz said, he is satisfied with the company because they are good and their work is sound.
As for the township capital, Powderly reported that at the end of June there was $161,689.90 in the general checking account. The state road account, she said has $56,044.60, and the building road account has $21,740.76. With a grand total of $229,475.26 and two CDs at the Dime Bank for a total of $281,486.44, she reported.
Officer Ernie Hilling reported that for the month of June, Hawley Police Department responded to three acts of disorderly conduct and two firearm incidents; issued 10 citations for vehicle matters and two written traffic warnings. Under miscellaneous, there was one alarm, with a total of 43 other incidents.
The next Palmyra Township meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 5th at 7 p.m. at the offices on Oak Street, Marble Hill.