WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Many people in a flood prone neighborhood thought this day might never come.
A long awaited flood control project is now complete. At the intersection of Brook and Vulcan Streets the people living in this part of the city, around 1,000 homes as well as businesses, have been living under the constant threat of flooding for decades.
This project near Solomon Creek ends the threat and many here say they now have peace of mind. And with that, many people say they can now sleep easier.
“This is really fantastic,” said Andy Reno of Wilkes-Barre.
Reno lives on Waller Street. His home has been flooded three times and has been threatened by flood waters from Solomon Creek for 30 years.
“We’ve been through a lot of flood events flood scared flooding in particular and having this project be completed we’re relaxed,” said Reno.
This is the culmination of a two-year $5.5 million project that is designed to prevent flooding from Solomon Creek.
“In the event of a storm what was going on the storm system had trouble draining into Solomon Creek and when the system turns on it will help drain the low lying areas of that problem,” said Mark Boris, Project Engineer.
Over the years people had to be rescued from their homes with boats. The flood walls had collapsed in 2016 adding to the concerns of residents like 88-year-old Richard Williams.
“From what it looks like, it will keep the sewer lines and drains free of water you know, they won’t back up into houses down here in Vulcan Street especially,” said Williams.
Mayor Brown says he would get calls all the time from residents of south Wilkes-Barre about the status of the project.
“We have so many areas in this neighborhood when water gets so high it actually pops up the manhole covers believe it or not,” said Brown.
This project will end those events, much to the delight of the people who live here in this neighborhood. The project was funded with a combination of federal, state and local money.