Lehigh Valley

Delaware River flooding addressed at Easton meeting

Delaware River flooding addressed at Easton meeting

EASTON, Pa. - People who live near the Delaware River have gotten used to some major flooding.

Many people have even come to expect flooding when there are storms or heavy rain.

Concerned homeowners would like to see changes in the way reservoirs are managed in New York.

"We put ads in these newspapers to tell people why you never want 100 percent full reservoirs," Gail Pedrick of New Hope told 69 News.

About a dozen people spoke up at a listening session in Easton Wednesday afternoon. Their comments were directed at the Delaware River Decree principals, who help manage the operating procedure for the reservoirs.

The representatives were from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and New York City. The session focused on the Flexible Flow Management Program.

"One of the things that we do is we'll use this agreement and the things that we've heard to determine if changes will be made to how the reservoirs are managed," said Kelly Heffner, Deputy Secretary for Water Management with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. "We do, have had, conversations about whether or not mitigation voids or spaces in the reservoirs can be created more often to hold some of those rains back."

One speaker said, "There's sinkholes that happen when it floods and then when the water recedes in my house and all the furniture in my house where the flood water was to the floor was totally stripped of varnish."

"I wouldn't ever say the reservoirs are causing flooding. Sometimes we just get a lot of rain and floods are something that are a result of heavy rain," Heffner told 69 News.

When speaking about her houses, Pedrick said, "The last time they flooded was 1955 till the New York reservoirs decided to fill them up to 100 percent and then when the rains come they have no means of getting the water out and we got 195 billion gallons which added four feet to my living room."

Heffner said they will take the comments into consider when the group revises the agreement in May.

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