Lycoming County will get a share of $5.5 million recently released from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to buy out flood-prone properties in the state.
Eleven houses were selected in the county for this round of grants, which totaled about $1.3 million, according to John Lavelle, hazard reduction planner with the county's planning and community development office. Eight are in Plunketts Creek Township; two are in Lewis Township; one is in Shrewsbury Township, he said.
The houses were affected by Tropical Storm Lee, which dumped nearly 9 inches of rain in parts of Lycoming County last September.
"They were all substantially damaged during Tropical Storm Lee," he said. "These properties have a pretty significant history of being damaged by flooding," Lavelle said.
Residents who were interested in having their properties bought out were invited to contact county officials to initiate the process. Participation is voluntary, Lavelle added.
FEMA made the funding available through its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to remove flood-prone structures out of harm's way.
Homeowners receive fair market value for their properties as they would have been before flood damage, Lavelle explained.
Additional FEMA funding was released to Columbia County for 34 properties and Wyoming County for 16 properties.
In all, an estimated $66 million is expected to be available statewide for buyouts as a result of Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene, which hit eastern and southeastern Pennsylvania in August of last year, according to FEMA.
Lavelle said there are more buyout grants are in the works. An additional $783,000 is set to be approved for six properties in Montoursville, Penn Township, Fairfield Township and Loyalsock Township. After that, Lavelle has applications in for properties in Hepburn, Old Lycoming and Plunketts Creek townships and Montoursville.
Lavelle expects closing for the recent round of buyouts to take place sometime in the fall, with demolition to follow.