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Floodplain

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NEWS
October 8, 1998 | By Todd Bishop, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
An engineer studying flood-prone areas of Lower Bucks outlined a plan yesterday to limit future storm damage by slowly removing hundreds of homes and businesses from the Otter Creek Watershed floodplain during the next century. In a presentation to the county Planning Commission, Allen P. Scheich, an engineer with Pickering Corts & Summerson Inc. of Newtown, offered a proposal to establish an authority to oversee the purchase of specific properties along the creeks and streams of the 20-square-mile watershed in Bristol Borough and Falls, Bristol and Middletown Townships.
NEWS
January 7, 2007 | By Diane Mastrull and Anthony R. Wood INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
After staunchly defending the adequacy of its floodplain mapping, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has changed course - endorsing the far more rigorous science used by a team of Philadelphia researchers to chart one of the region's most perilous flood zones. FEMA officials said Friday that Temple University's work in the Pennypack Creek watershed was unsurpassed in detail, and could become the model for assessing flood risk in high-growth areas nationwide. Just a few months ago, FEMA cited that precision as its reason for refusing to add Temple's maps to the national archive, saying they exceeded the agency's standards.
NEWS
September 2, 2001 | By Margie Fishman INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Months after Tropical Storm Allison touched down in the township, damaging 200 properties in the Baederwood, Ardsley and Roslyn sections, the company that operates the Rydal Park retirement community has proposed expanding into a floodplain. Presby Homes & Services of Lafayette Hill, which operates independent and assisted-living communities throughout the Philadelphia area, has submitted a development plan to the township that calls for $60 million in new construction to Rydal Park, including 45 new apartments, a 113-bed health center, and a community center with a fitness room and a 50,000-square-foot swimming pool.
NEWS
August 3, 2004 | By Tina Moore and Vernon Clark INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
All along Cobbs Creek, Naylors Run and Darby Creek in Delaware County and Philadelphia, residents want their persistent flooding problems solved. Unfortunately, short of moving them out, there may not be much anyone can do, a storm water expert from Villanova University said yesterday. "Sometimes, you just get too much rain," said Robert Traver, a professor and director of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership. "The bottom line is, if they're in the floodplain, there may not be an easy way. " Right now, however, there are no plans to move Bill Sams from his home on 13th Street in Darby Borough, about 50 yards from Darby Creek.
NEWS
May 24, 2000 | By Oshrat Carmiel, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Bennett Levin, a former Philadelphia official who is accusing Upper Makefield Township of conspiring against him, has won a zoning challenge in Commonwealth Court against the township. Ending a 2 1/2 year battle, a panel of three judges upheld on May 11 a lower court decision to allow Levin to build a house on River Road, within the Delaware Canal floodplain. "It means I'm going to apply for a [building] permit," Levin, the former Philadelphia commissioner for licenses and inspections, said yesterday.
NEWS
December 7, 2000 | By Kathryn Masterson, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Susan Shifrin's Port Providence house has flooded four times since 1992, a rate she attributes to the rapid development of a township bordered by the Schuylkill and Perkiomen Creek. The Zoning Hearing Board is scheduled tonight to discuss yet another development proposal, one that calls for pushing a large pile of dirt into the floodplain. It is a plan that has Shifrin and other residents who have just finished cleaning up from Hurricane Floyd worried that their houses and their flood insurance might be in jeopardy.
NEWS
November 14, 2000 | By Oshrat Carmiel, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that Bennett Levin, former Philadelphia commissioner of Licenses and Inspections, has a right to build a house in the floodplain along the Delaware Canal despite three years of objections by Upper Makefield Township officials. In a decision issued on Thursday, the court upheld a ruling by Commonwealth Court that the single-family house that Levin seeks to build would not increase the risk of flooding in that area. Upper Makefield officials had tried to stop the project, leading one Bucks County judge to accuse them of abuse of power.
NEWS
December 16, 1996 | By Scott Cech, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Depending on whom one talks to, a 4 1/2-acre grocery store and gas station proposed for Egypt and Pinetown Roads would be: Smack in the middle of a floodplain and an environmental menace to nearby Perkiomen Creek. Not in the floodplain and a help during heavy rains. An added traffic burden on an already overtaxed intersection. The savior of gridlocked drivers at the intersection. In any event, plans for eight gas pumps and a 5,500-square-foot food store were put on hold until after the New Year after residents voiced concerns last week over flood hazards and traffic congestion.
NEWS
May 5, 1986 | By Marlene A. Prost, Special to the Inquirer
The Easttown Township Zoning Hearing Board has granted approval for construction of a stormwater retention basin in the floodplain of a proposed 15-home development on Berkeley Road between Arlington Road and Sugar Knoll, a neighboring development. Board member Ruthann H. Graf, the only member present at the Thursday hearing, granted special relief under the flood-hazard ordinance to Fariston Road Associates to put a basin in the floodplain of a tributary of the Darby Creek that borders the 21-acre tract.
NEWS
August 6, 1996 | By Erin Einhorn, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Ending one of the many battles raging over a proposed shopping center in Washington Crossing, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court last week sided with the developer, upholding a contested variance. Opponents say there are still battles enough to wage in the three-year-old war before they are discouraged. Attorneys for the developer say the victory was so resounding, they have accelerated plans to buy the 22-acre tract across from Washington Crossing State Park. At issue was the October 1994 variance that allowed Sam Marrazzo to build his 84,500-square-foot shopping center in the Delaware River's 100-year floodplain.
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NEWS
January 7, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Every eight months or so, Rose Valley Creek breaches its banks, sending two to three inches of water around the old trees, across the fields, and up to the Quinn family's front door in Ambler. Flooding is a perennial problem in Ambler, a small Montgomery County borough criss-crossed by creeks and downstream from miles of suburban runoff. If the Wissahickon Valley were a bathtub, Ambler would be the drain. So when a developer in the fall introduced plans to build houses on the only untouched creek-side lots, neighbors were up in arms.
NEWS
January 31, 2013 | By James Osborne, Inquirer Staff Writer
Shore houses that have been in working-class families for generations will be abandoned. Property values will spiral downward, leaving Shore towns' budgets in tatters. That is the dire scenario painted by a growing coalition of federal, state, and local officials along the Jersey Shore after Gov. Christie's announcement last week that New Jersey would adopt the federal government's preliminary floodplain maps - which would effectively require houses along large swaths of the Shore to be elevated to protect against future storm surges.
NEWS
February 6, 2011 | By Anthony R. Wood, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a former life, David Bollinger was a paramedic who was involved in more than his share of swift-water rescues. As a point man in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's mammoth project to remap America's floodplains, he is dealing with torrents of a different kind. For the last eight years, FEMA has been remaking its aging flood-map stock, playing catch-up with changes along waterways wrought by development, storm patterns, and natural processes. Around here, Montgomery and Bucks Counties now are going through a laborious process already played out in thousands of towns all over the country, including those in Chester, Delaware, and Gloucester Counties.
BUSINESS
January 4, 2009 | By Diane Mastrull INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
During his long career as a civil engineer for Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation, Steve Lester often did not feel the love. There were stalled projects, killed projects, funding shortages and accusations from the public that his agency wasn't doing enough to make dangerous roads safe or traffic-choked routes less so. "It wasn't dull," said Lester, whose 30-year odyssey at PennDot took him from intern to district engineer. When he retired in December 1994, he was responsible for 1,000 employees, more than 3,900 miles of state highways and 2,600 state-owned bridges.
NEWS
January 17, 2008 | By Maya K. van Rossum
The Delaware River is often recognized as the last major free-flowing river east of the Mississippi. But this does not mean the Delaware is totally unscathed by dams. Three dams that sit on the Delaware's major headwater tributaries allow New York City to draw up to 800 million gallons per day of Delaware River water to support their communities in the Hudson watershed. Flows from the reservoirs also ensure drinking-water supplies for downstream communities, including Philadelphia. The massive size of these obstructions and their storage capacity have a dominating effect on the health and flows of the entire river, affecting all communities in this watershed.
NEWS
January 7, 2007 | By Diane Mastrull and Anthony R. Wood INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
After staunchly defending the adequacy of its floodplain mapping, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has changed course - endorsing the far more rigorous science used by a team of Philadelphia researchers to chart one of the region's most perilous flood zones. FEMA officials said Friday that Temple University's work in the Pennypack Creek watershed was unsurpassed in detail, and could become the model for assessing flood risk in high-growth areas nationwide. Just a few months ago, FEMA cited that precision as its reason for refusing to add Temple's maps to the national archive, saying they exceeded the agency's standards.
NEWS
October 1, 2006 | By Diane Mastrull INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Between closed roads and floating cars, swamped houses and hysterical homeowners, life hasn't been easy for community officials in the flood-plagued Pennypack Creek watershed. On Friday, it got considerably harder. And there was barely a rain cloud in sight. This tempest was indoors, swirling around a set of floodplain maps newly produced by a team of Temple University scientists. When the winds died down in the meeting room at the school's Fort Washington campus, municipal leaders went home to fret over a choice they'd rather not have to make: To adopt Temple's unprecedentedly detailed floodplain maps as a guide to development and land use in their communities?
NEWS
January 21, 2005
State can't afford to reject offer of Petty's Island Kathleen Fallstick (letter to the editor, "A state commissioner needs some instruction," Jan. 11) and Pennsauken officials are mistaken if they believe Cherokee's development plan would make Petty's Island "cleaner. " First, Cherokee plans to dump millions of cubic feet of dredge spoil on Petty's Island to raise it above the 100-year floodplain. Two-thirds of the island is now below that floodplain. Second, Cherokee plans to cover the island with an 18-hole golf course, hundreds of high-income homes, and a 250-room hotel.
NEWS
August 3, 2004 | By Tina Moore and Vernon Clark INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
All along Cobbs Creek, Naylors Run and Darby Creek in Delaware County and Philadelphia, residents want their persistent flooding problems solved. Unfortunately, short of moving them out, there may not be much anyone can do, a storm water expert from Villanova University said yesterday. "Sometimes, you just get too much rain," said Robert Traver, a professor and director of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership. "The bottom line is, if they're in the floodplain, there may not be an easy way. " Right now, however, there are no plans to move Bill Sams from his home on 13th Street in Darby Borough, about 50 yards from Darby Creek.
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