Flooded Pa. Homeowners Bailed Out by Feds

June 3, 2004

The federal government has offered $3 million to purchase and demolish 26 homes near Abington, Pennsylvania that were inundated by Tropical Storm Allison.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency made the funding available to Abington Township, north of Philadelphia, to purchase and demolish the homes in a flood-prone area near Baeder Creek.

The township plans to contribute an additional $1 million to buy the homes, which sit about 70 feet from the creek along Wanamaker and Baeder roads.

Eight major floods have hit the township since 1967, including the remnants of Hurricane Floyd in September 1999 and Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. Abington’s project was picked from more than 450 mitigation and planning applications nationwide.

Floodwaters from Allison did thousands of dollars in damage to Harry and Rita Levenson’s home on Wanamaker Road, and a heavy storm in 1996 washed their car away.

“I’m shocked, I can’t believe it,” Rita Levenson said of the federal buyout offer.

Through FEMA’s hazard mitigation program, nearby Upper Moreland Township purchased and demolished 32 flood-ravaged homes in the Bonnet Lane area.

Allison dumped more than 10 inches of rain on June 16, 2001, leaving seven people dead, destroying 140 homes and damaging 1,400 properties.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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