Plymouth Twp. Residents Weigh Final Flood Buyout Offer


PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Five years after the historic flood of 2011, some property owners in a Luzerne County flood plain face a difficult decision. They must decide whether to accept a final buyout offer from the government.

In a community that’s endured its share of flooding in the past five decades, Plymouth Township experienced its most devastating blow from the flood of 2011. Many township property owners took buyouts, but not Gene Mikolaicik. “It’s all new. Everything’s new inside, let’s put it that way. Top and bottom.”

He chose to repair the East Poplar Street home that’s now in the hands of his daughter, Cindy West. She’s seen neighbors take government buyout leaving behind green space after those homes were torn down. “It definitely can change quick. That’s, I don’t know. It’s just sad everything’s going down.”

She must now decide if she will join others who left town. Plymouth Township is among four state municipalities eligible for $8 million in disaster recovery funds from HUD. The funds will be distributed with the help of both PEMA and the Department of Community and Economic Development who hosted an information meeting this week for township residents.”It’s definitely worth seeing what kind of price they’d be willing to buyout for because we’ve done a lot of work to the home after the flood,” she said.

At that meeting, residents were told to expect flood insurance rates to rise as much as $5,000 or $7,000 a year. And in some instances, an annual premium could cost as much as $20,000. The escalating costs may very well force some families whose mortgages require flood insurance to take the money and run. But Ms. West’s property is paid off and doesn’t have flood insurance – making her decision a difficult one. “We have to see what they’re going to offer,” she said.

Any Plymouth Township residents interested in a potential buyout should contact township supervisors on how to proceed.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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