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The Pennsylvania Silver Jackets Team is an interagency team dedicated to working collaboratively with the commonwealth and appropriate stakeholders in developing and implementing solutions to flood hazards by combining available agency resources, which include funding, programs, and technical expertise.
The team provides a variety of Flood Risk Management Resources for the public – before, during and after a flood – on their website.
Jersey Shore Borough, Muncy Borough, and Old Lycoming Township have the highest risk of flood damages in Lycoming County. It is critical that mitigation actions be taken in these areas to reduce flood risk. Recent changes in legislation may result in increased flood insurance rates for many property owners. Nonstructural measures can help reduce flood damages to homes and reduce future flood insurance rates. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) plans to lead a study that will include evaluating nonstructural measures for 20 prototype structures (concept plan and cost), conducting building elevation surveys, performing a GIS evaluation and economic analysis, developing a cost matrix, and assisting with community outreach. To encourage property owners to implement projects, the cost of implementing measures will be compared to the reduction in future damages and flood insurance costs. The USACE Nonstructural Flood Proofing Committee will conduct the flood-proofing evaluation. This analysis will be critical in helping Lycoming County determine which projects are most cost effective and will help them prioritize which structures to mitigate for first. The proactive county has already obtained funding to provide loans and grants for the implementation of these projects following our analyses. The results of the assessment will be available to use as an educational outreach product to other communities.
The Pennsylvania Silver Jackets Team developed a library of inundation maps tied to an existing stream gage to inform the general public, local officials, and emergency managers of flooding risks for the City of Harrisburg and adjacent communities along a 20-mile reach. Partners include the Corps of Engineers, US Geological Survey, Harrisburg Authority, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
During a flood, residents and business owners are overwhelmed with pressing needs, making information flow a vital necessity. Community officials’ responsibilities escalate as they must notify its residents of shelters, keep people informed of upcoming weather patterns, and ensure that everyone has the best resources available to make informed and safe decisions. However, information flow is also critical before a flood and after it occurs. Preparation and knowledge are keys to being well-prepared for a potential flood; also, if affected by high water, community members will need to know who to contact to begin to repair and rebuild.
Hurricane Irene tore through central Pennsylvania on August 27, 2011 and was followed within weeks by Tropical Storm Lee. Though these fall storms were not the most damaging to ever hit the state, their “one-two punch” had devastating effects. These events resulted in two separate Presidential Disaster Declarations and opened the door to mitigation grants to build back stronger. Now, almost two years later, the area is still rebuilding, and communities and residents continue to need technical assistance and guidance throughout the process of applying for grants and rebuilding.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, Email
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Email