Pennsylvania Town Must Certify Levee to Avoid Flood Plain

June 18, 2012

A creekside levee in one western Pennsylvania borough must be certified by federal regulators or most of the community will be declared a flood plain, a designation that could drive up property insurance costs and make building permits difficult to obtain.

The Punxsutawney Spirit reports Thursday that officials in Punxsutawney don’t know how much the Federal Emergency Management Agency certification will cost, let alone how much it might cost to improve the Mahoning Creek levee if FEMA deems it not up to par.

Ben White, the manager of the borough about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, says FEMA will declare 75 percent of the town a flood plain if the levee isn’t certified.

Officials say the certification is being required because of levee-related flooding problems caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.

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