FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program – Londonderry Township, Dauphin County, PA

Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. (HRG) assisted Londonderry Township with applying for grant funding to purchase homes damaged by Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011.  The funds were obtained through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) via the federal government’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

These grants are made available after a federal disaster has been declared.  Their purpose is to support efforts that will reduce the risk of damage and suffering if a future disaster occurs in the same area and provide financial support for residents recovering from that disaster.  The program also provides an opportunity for the owners of substantially damaged property to comply with FEMA floodplain management requirements through demolition in lieu of repairs and structure elevation.

Tropical Storm Lee was the third severe flood to hit Londonderry Township in eight years.  In sum, 13.4 inches of rain fell in the area in one week (7 inches in one day).  Since the ground was already saturated by recent heavy rains, major flooding occurred in the Swatara Creek watershed.  Several homeowners in the area had to be rescued by boat.

To keep residents, municipal workers, and emergency personnel out of harm’s way in future flood events, the township purchased the flood-damaged homes and demolished them.  The land was then brought to grade with clean fill, stabilized and permanently seeded in order to be maintained as open space in perpetuity by deed restriction.

The Township received approximately $3 million in grant funding through this program, and 15 homes were successfully demolished along Swatara Creek Road.  The land has since been improved with riparian buffer plantings, partially funded through two PA American Water Environmental Grant Program awards.

Client / Owner

Londonderry Township
783 S. Geyers Church Road
Middletown, PA 17057

Project Highlights

  • Assisted township with obtaining $3 million in grant funding.
  • Administered the grant and navigated the extensive reporting process on the township’s behalf, saving their overloaded staff from the many man-hours required to manage a grant project like this.
  • Oversaw demolition of flood-damaged homes to prevent risk of damage and dangerous evacuations in future flood events.
  • Provided similar services to Lower Swatara Township and Middletown and Hummelstown Boroughs.

Related People

Contact an HRG Water Resources Professional for more information on this project or related services.

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