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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Addressing storm damage, seeking long-term road fix

  • Anyone who had damage from the torrential rain that struck the greater Hawley area June 30th may still contact their municipality with a report. Local officials need the information to gather support for potential federal emergency reimbursement. The storm was still being discussed a month and a half later, at the Augu...
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  • Anyone who had damage from the torrential rain that struck the greater Hawley area June 30th may still contact their municipality with a report. Local officials need the information to gather support for potential federal emergency reimbursement.
    The storm was still being discussed a month and a half later, at the August 14th Hawley Council meeting. Councilwoman Michelle Rojas asked Hawley residents to contact the Borough Office if they had damage. The office may be reached at 226-9545.
    Rojas reported that she had spoken that day to Peter Hooker, Wayne County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Deputy Coordinator. He had stated that Pennsylvania declared a State of Emergency and had a tabulation of $19 million in damages in northeast Pennsylvania. This was from two rain storms that they are linking as one storm event caused by a stalled weather front.
    The state is waiting on a decision from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to see whether the criteria will be met and funding can be released to aid residents, businesses and local governments recover.
    She said that even if people fixed their own property, they are asked to let the Borough know about the damages and costs. Even if federal funding won't come available, the information will still be useful for the Borough's effort to develop a long range storm water management plan.
    Council agreed to apply for a $10,000 state Growing Greener grant to be used towards the study. In light of the damages from June, the Borough wants to examine priorities of roads and catch basins that need the most attention and how they will be funded. They will be working closely with Palmyra Township (Wayne), since much of the storm water flows down to the Borough from Palmyra's hills.
    Kiley Associates, their engineering firm, offered the Borough a $500 discount; therefore only a $1,000 match will be required from the Borough towards the grant.
    Sharon Gries, a resident of 239 Hudson Street (Route 6 portion) and Grant Genzingler, 4 Main Avenue (The Settlers Inn) spoke to Council about their shared problems with runoff from the June 30th storm. Gries was concerned about a "huge rock pile" that resulted in her backyard which will block water and threaten her house if another big storm occurs.
    Councilman John Robertson, who chairs the Streets & Roads Committee, offered to go in with a shovel and move the debris if a truck can take it away. He asked for a Borough workshop to discuss their course of action about street and storm water management problems.
    Genzlinger said that their property was heavily damaged from debris coming down from the fill across the street. The state culvert pipe under Route 6 had become plugged. PennDOT has already cleared the old canal to make sure the culver works. He stated that they already have $34,000 in repairs at The Settlers Inn.
    Page 2 of 2 - Gries' home, as well as the Hawley Medical Center and Peter Porter's house are all impacted by the storm, Genzlinger said.
    Meanwhile, immediate attention is needed on certain roads. The hill on Prospect Street, Robertson said, is impassable on the right side going up and has damaged tires. He said "Prospect Street unpaved is better than "Prospect Street paved." The storm undermined the asphalt on June 30th.
    There also exists a severe erosion problem on Garfield Avenue. Immediate, temporary corrective action is needed, Roberston said, before it becomes impassable. This involves a cooperative effort with Palmyra Township. Robertson has been in touch with Palmyra's Roadmaster, Joseph Kmetz.
    Council talked about how they may be able to fund work to address the high priority damaged roads, ahead of scheduling a workshop.
    Gries will be sent a written agreement to sign allowing Roberston to come on her property to do the work. A workshop will be scheduled as well. Genzlinger offered to sign a written agreement ahead of time and said he wants to attend the workshop.
    Robertson stated that is frustrating when residents call him about road problems. "We're supposed to be stewards of the community and should be able to communicate with them what we can do," he said.

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