Loyalsock talks flood, continues recovery projects

The Loyalsock Township supervisors heard from their emergency management coordinator about the flash flooding in October at Tuesday’s meeting.

As the township coordinator for over a decade, Frank Pile has been responsible for overseeing the township’s response to non-routine emergencies.

The position, as well as an emergency management plan and center, are required by the state, Pile said.

“It’s like car insurance … one of those things you don’t know you have until you need,” he said.

Flooding is the township’s primary non-routine emergency issue. But the most recent flood was an unusual rain event, he said.

“Most flooding we see are remnants of a tropical storm and you have 12 to 24 hours notice,” Pile said. “The forecast for the night of the flood was severe thunderstorms with no more than an inch of rain.”

That night on Oct. 21, the area saw a deluge of 4 to 8 inches of rain in a four- to six-hour period.

“And there was no advance warning,” Pile said. “Everyone went to bed thinking it was a bad thunderstorm.”

Pile went to the center, at the Loyalsock Township Volunteer Fire Co., that morning at 1:30.

He witnessed water filling the first floor of homes and apartment complexes all through that area.

“By 5:30 a.m., the fire company responded to 33 calls for assistance and rescued 10 individuals,” Pile said. ” … But once the emergency phase was over, there was still a lot of work to be done.”

“It’s been a pleasure working with Frank … he’s always on the ball and always there when we need him,” Bill Burdett, township manager, said.

The township didn’t have enough damage to meet the threshold for private funding, but it did receive federal reimbursement — money it is finding it needs while still rebuilding.

Needed work is being discovered while current recovery jobs are being completed, Burdett said.

The supervisors voted unanimously to replace a 12-inch pipe at Bruce Henry Park after the presentation.

The state Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the $8,170 it will cost to replace the plugged-up pipe.

In other business, the supervisors voted to include a Family Medical Leave Act policy to their employee personnel policy that will give any township employee their legal job-protected 12 weeks of leave every 12 months for various circumstances including a serious medical condition and the care of a child, spouse or parent.

They also approved bidding proposal for a professional engineer to continue the next phase of their curbcutting and handicap ramp project to meet a new state policy.

Voting unanimously on all actions were Marc C. Sortman, Virginia M. Eaton, John C. Bower Jr., Richard H. Wheeland and Paul D. Nyman.

The supervisors will meet again at 7 p.m. on Feb. 14.