Photos courtesy of: Christina Kinsman
1972 Agnes Flood 45th Anniversary
On the evening of November 9, 2017, Christopher J. Belleman, P.E.,CFM, Executive Director of the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority, participated in a panel discussion on "Agnes, Can it Happen Again?" hosted by the Luzerne County Historical Society (LCHS) and held at their museum facilities located at 49 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The LCHS Director of Operations and Special Events, Mark J. Riccetti, Jr., moderated the panel discussion. The other participants in the forum were Brian E. Whitman, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences Department, Wilkes University and Kathy Lang, Curator, United States National Parks Service, Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton, Pennsylvania, who was serving in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina Flood.
2017 TreeVitalize Grant Awarded
The Authority is the recipient of a 2017 TreeVitalize grant in the amount of $5,100, through the Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forestry Council. The grant is for the replacement of the dead ash trees that were positioned at twenty-three (23) planting stations located throughout the flood protection system. The ash trees that were originally planted in the 1990's became infected with the emerald ash borer, an insect that arrived from China in 2004. Using in-house personnel, the Authority removed and disposed of the infected trees. The trees will be replaced with a variety of hardy species to build future diversity in the planting stations. The new trees will be planted in the Spring, 2018 by in-house personnel and volunteers under the direction of a Penn State Cooperative Urban Forester.
2017 Y Walk Wednesdays
Coordinated by the Wilkes-Barre YMCA
& Sponsored by Highmark
A guided tour of the levee system took place on June 21st, 2017 to educate the community on the inner workings of the Wyoming Valley Flood Risk Management Project (WVFRMP). Christopher Belleman, LCFPA Executive Director, led the walkers on a loop hike from the Market Street Bridge to the North Street Bridge and back to the YMCA. He educated walkers about the operation of the pump stations, earthen levee and floodwall construction, various types of closure structures, the operation and importance of the USGS stream gage located on the downstream face of the North Street Bridge and other elements of the flood protection system. About 40 members of the community came out for the event and many left with a better sense of how the system functions and how the community is protected from flooding along the Susquehanna River.
2018-Y Walk Wednesdays
On June 20th, 2018 the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority hosted the YMCA Y-Walk Wednesdays event: Keeping The Susquehanna Out of Our Living Rooms. Attendees participated in a guided tour from the Market Street Bridge to the North Street Bridge in Wilkes-Barre. The group was educated on the inner workings of the Wyoming Valley Flood Risk Management Project. Christopher Belleman, LCFPA Executive Director, guided the tour. The walk was open to the public and despite the threat of rain, a large number of walkers participated. Thank you to everyone who joined us this year for Y Walk Wednesdays!
Flood Fight Training
A free flood fight training was offered to local emergency responders and engineers on Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21, 2018. The training took place to better educate attendees about the need for levee system patrols during a high water event and train responders on the identification of potential issues that can occur. Levee system patrols are vital to the Authority's emergency response effort during a flood. Approximately sixty (60) volunteer emergency responders, local engineers and other members of the public attended the trainings. The trainings took place at the Luzerne County EMA facility in Wilkes-Barre and were hosted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the LCFPA.
Left to right: Christopher J. Belleman, P.E., CFM, Brian E. Whitman, Ph.D. and Kathy Lang
A Story Runs Through It
“A Story Runs Through It – Wyoming Valley Levee System” publication is available for purchase at the Luzerne County Historical Society (LCHS) Museum & Shop. A Story Runs Through It is a compilation of 77 individual stories about the Wyoming Valley’s history, environment, industry, commerce, culture, floods and flood protection which includes the Wyoming Valley Levee Raising Project. Interested customers can purchase the book at the LCHS Museum, Rear 69 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, or at the LCHS Library, 49 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre. The LCHS accepts cash, checks and credit cards. For further information on the purchase of this publication please contact the LCHS at 570.822.1727 (museum/gift shop); at 570.823.6244 (administration); or at email@example.com.