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I-Team: Residents say Columbia County construction project creating flooding issues

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MIFFLIN TOWNSHIP, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Residents living near a housing construction project in Columbia County say there are concerned about water runoff and flooding problems being created by the project.

They reached out to the I-Team because they say their concerns are falling on deaf ears. The area where the housing development is being constructed that has many people in this area concerned is in Mifflin Township, located between Berwick and Bloomsburg.

Their chief concerns is that they are already getting a lot of water coming from the farm field and fear this project will only make their situation worse. The I-Team went looking for answers.

“The water is the most important thing because people are trying to get flood insurance already, believe it or not,” Robert Buff of Mifflinville said.

Robert and Karen Buff live near the housing contraction site in Mifflinville. They say their property already gets water from the farm field.

“Well, my main concern is about the water runoff. It’s just a river runs right through our property,” Karen Buff said.

Work is underway on the Mifflin Overlook Estates. 54 homes will be built on 55 acres. John Brosius’ property also borders the housing development. He showed the I-Team photos of the flooding he already experiences from the farm field.

Flooding he admits has taken place for years but now his concerns and those of many of his neighbors are intensified by this project.

“The main concern here is they take care of that surface water coming off that hill because the way it is, what they are going to put up there, we are going to have a bad time down here. It’s going to flood. All we ask is if we can live here in peace without problems,” Brosious said.

Brosious says workers did place a large barrier between the contraction site and his property just this week. The I-Team went to the offices of the developer. Marr Development based in Bloomsburg.

“I have been a part of the community for a long time. Marr Development has been here over 30 years. We want to be a good neighbor. We want to be a good part of the community,” Marr Development Companies founder and president Nancy Marr said.

The I-Team took the concerns of the residents to Marr. She said she wanted to answer those concerns. Drainage is their number one priority.

“We have 13 rain gardens which is a nice name for retention areas, retention ponds, and you can see those right here and they have been carefully designed to catch the water that may be coming downflow toward town. So water flows from one to the other if it doesn’t infiltrate into the ground but they are connected through underground pipes so that they would flow one to the other and make their way down to the drainage system,” Marr said.

When asked what she wanted to tell people living there who say this is all well and good but they are still concerned about will it work, Marr said: “The water drains, I mean we fully expect the system to work. It’s been designed and reviewed so these civil engineers with a lot of experience, we expect the system is going to work.”

Mifflin Township officials say they understand the concerns of the residents here but point out that Marr Development has met the required steps in the ongoing permit process and they do not expect any issues with water run-off.

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