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Flood Wall and Crew Awarded by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Posted on April 27, 2017


The Sunbury Flood Wall is the best in the Baltimore District, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Sunbury Municipal Authority Flood Protection department was presented the “Outstanding Flood Protection Project Award” by the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the semi-annual Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection workshop held in State College on April 11, according to Municipal Authority Flood Control Department manager Jeff Lewis.

The award cited the department’s commitment and dedication to the community’s flood protection program and for the effort and pride taken in operation and maintenance of the Sunbury project, Lewis said.

“It’s very nice to be noticed after all the hard work we do through the years,” Lewis said.

“We had no idea this was coming but we are thrilled to be noticed.”

Lewis, along with flood control employees, Heath Lahr and Randy Klock were in State College to accept the award.

“About 6 months ago we had someone from Holland visit us to see what we were doing,” Lewis said. “It is just so nice to have people from all over come to us and ask us for advice.”

The Sunbury project was designed and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1951. The project currently has over 5 miles of levees and concrete floodwalls, 6 pumping stations, 8 interceptor sewers, 6 closure structures, 11 drainage structures, 54 manholes, 57 catch basins, 17 ponds & channels and 100 sluiceflap gates. To monitor water levels the Authority has 3 telemetry stations and a state of the art operations center. The total project area covers 175 acres. All maintenance and operations are performed by a full time crew of three.

In January 1993, the city transferred the operation and maintenance responsibility of the flood protection project to the Sunbury Municipal Authority.

Immediately upon transfer to the Authority the need to obtain funds to rehabilitate the system was realized and a concerted effort was begun with state and federal legislators and Authority staff to secure grants to rehabilitate the system, Lewis said. The Authority was able to secure over $7.6 million in funds in the form of state and federal grants, Lewis said.

As a result of this concerted initiative and the Authority’s ongoing commitment, the Sunbury flood protection system has been deemed a model for others to follow, Lewis said.

The Flood Department was recently awarded a grant of $228,000 which will enable the Authority to rehabilitate the Floodwall by replacing all joint material and repair cracking along its entire 2.5 mile length. The contract for this project will be awarded in the coming months with construction to begin shortly thereafter, Lewis said.

Sunbury Mayor David Persing said he is thrilled for the flood control department.

“They are top notch,” Persing said. ‘We are very excited for them. It is well deserved.”

Councilmen Jim Eister and Rick Reichner agreed.

“It is very simple,” Eister said. “Because of the great job these guys do, the city is safer.”

Reichner said the department is always looking for ways to improve.

“It shows people take notice when you get this type of award,” Reichner said. “We are thrilled for them.”

The Baltimore District covers areas from Northern New York down to Washington D.C., Lewis said.

Source: The Daily Item

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