Scranton Times Tribune
U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta said late this afternoon he would push President Obama to declare a federal disaster in areas affected by Susquehanna River flooding.
A disaster declaration would open a channel of federal funding for repairing damage and preventing future flooding, including the possible raising or extension of the Wyoming Valley Levee System, Barletta said.
“We have problems in Plymouth that need help, Exeter, Solomon’s Creek, Columbia County,” Barletta said. “There are areas that need federal funding to fix.”
Barletta, a Republican, monitored the rising river levels from the Luzerne County emergency management command center in Wilkes-Barre after a whirlwind drive back from Washington, which saw detours from Interstate 81 amid flooding south of Harrisburg.
“I remember Agnes very well and this has the potential to be worse than Agnes,” Barletta said. “We’ve got to keep our fingers crossed. Hopefully we learned a lot from that time.”
“The most important message for people now is to listen to the emergency management personnel to make sure they’re safe, their families are safe and their pets are safe,” Barletta said.