Storm Damage at Pa. State Parks at Least $3M-$4M
A one-two punch from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused at least $3 million to $4 million in damages to public infrastructure at state parks and forests, with facilities in Northeast Pennsylvania being particularly hard hit, according to Richard Allan, secretary of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The Scranton Times-Tribune reported that Promised Land State Park in Pike County and Worlds End State Park in Sullivan County sustained significant damage to roads and bridges, said Ellen Ferretti, deputy DCNR secretary for parks and forests.
“It was like a one-two punch,” she added.
Damage assessments are continuing.
As part of the public disaster assistance under the presidential major disaster declaration, federal aid will cover 75% of the costs to fix park infrastructure, said Allan.
The damages occurred as DCNR emphasizes a “back to basics” approach in managing 125 dams, 126 wastewater plants, 3,000 miles of road, 798 bridges and 4,000 buildings in the state parks and forests, Allan told the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
During the flooding, about 50 DCNR employees assisted with state relief efforts on tasks ranging from manning water pumps to readying emergency shelter. The Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey provided aerial images to help officials determine the impact of flooding on the landscape.