North Central and Army Corps meeting

Brian Stockman
Staff Writer

North Central’s Flood Resiliency Program, headed by Rachel Wolfel,  continues in Ridgway with an upcoming flood reduction investigation meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In an effort to show strong community support, local government and community officials are invited to attend the meeting set for Tuesday, March 26, at 10:30 a.m. at North Central’s office, located at 49 Ridgemont Drive, Ridgway. Please RSVP to Wolfel at North Central if you are able to attend.
North Central, in collaboration with Ridgway Borough and Ridgway Township, submitted a letter of intent to USACE under Section 205.
The Ridgway Flood Task Force identified the need for a feasibility study to determine effective methods and locations for flood mitigation efforts before undertaking any construction projects. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 205 funding, if approved, would provide a means for a feasibility study, preparation of plans and specifications, as well as a construction phase.
In order to determine eligibility, an investigation in Ridgway must take place. This investigation is at federal expense, and will determine if Ridgway meets program requirements and if federal participation is justified.
Members of the Flood Resiliency program are invited for the meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as deliberations begin on granting funding to undertake flood reduction projects along Elk Creek and the Clarion River.
Rachel Wolfel, Community Development Coordinator at North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning & Development Commission, has been heading the Flood Resiliency Initiative at North Central for over a year. North Central is the designated local development district for the six-county region which includes Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties. North Central’s Flood Resiliency Initiative is part of a statewide program that is focused on increasing education, awareness and preparedness of flood-prone communities.
Ridgway Borough was selected to be the pilot community in the North Central region, and since May of 2018 has participated in homeowner surveys, public meetings, and the development of a FEMA Elevation Certificate program for residents in the floodplain.
Wolfel describes the proposed study as "a decisive step forward in order to help Ridgway prepare for or prevent future flooding events."