WYOMING COUNTY, PA - The Lazy Brook development was constructed in the late 1960s and early 1970s on farm land along the Tunkhannock Creek. The 89 homes in the development had experienced flooding seven times since 1976. In 1996, 69 of the 89 homes had water levels in their lowest floors ranging from 1 to 8 feet. These homes also experienced failure of the septic systems; contamination from fuel oil; and 8 homes were isolated by a drainage channel after losing their access bridge. Three months after the disaster, only 10 families were able to live in their homes.
On January 24, 1996, a town meeting was held to review options for the community. With a long history of flooding and the latest flooding still fresh on their minds, the residents of the community expressed a strong desire to have their homes acquired. Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds, along with State and local government funds, enabled the community to relocate one home and acquire 75 homes.
The National Park Service played a key role in the coordination and development of the land-use plan for the area. The land-use plan, when implemented, returned the area to open space as a recreation area for the whole community.
Savings in avoided future damage from this project is expected to be at least $6 million. These savings apply not only to the 76 homes that were acquired, but also to an existing lumber company and other homes in the area as well.
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.