SCRANTON, PA - In January 1996, Nay Aug Avenue experienced its second major flood in 11 years. The 13 homes along the avenue were built prior to 1940 with no footers for the foundation to rest on. Additionally, the foundation walls were of stone and crumbling mortar. Through the years of flooding, the banks of the Lackawanna River washed away to the point that the houses are sitting in the floodway.
The project consisted of the acquisition and demolition of the 13 properties. Various city agencies assisted in the implementation of the project.
This project did highlight cooperation of a City working to help its citizens. For example, a shortfall in funding was identified as the project progressed. So the City held an auction at the properties. Everything from the kitchen sink to the mailboxes in the front yard was sold. Citizens from around the community (including several that opposed the acquisition) came to help. The auction raised $40,000 to aid the project. This auction and other creative means of dealing with the project lead to the project having an $11,000 excess when it was completed. This money was returned to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) fund.
Standard Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flood damage. The National Flood Insurance Program makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in participating communities.
Since the completion of this project, the area has been flooded four times, and subsequently the Army Corp is constructing a levee to further reduce the area of flooding. Future flooding may also be avoided by increasing the currently inadequate capacity of the storm water pipes in the area.