The residents who came in front of the Lower Macungie Township board of commissioners pleading for matching funding to attain a federal FEMA buyout of their properties in Ancient Oaks on Spring Creek Rd were denied the request.
One of the residents returned tonight to ask for a explanation. She broke down at the podium.
The Commissioners rationale was they did not want to set a precedent for other residents to come to the township for flood funding.
My issues with this decision was two fold. A precedent was already set by a previous board. Secondly, this attitude is basic burying our heads in the sand that development in LMT has affected the flood plains.
I met and visited with one of the families making the request a few weeks ago. They purchased their home in 1996. PRIOR to the building boom. Now I have lived next to this river for almost my entire life of 33 years. And yes, it always flooded. The difference now is the frequency and rate it rises. Don't tell me that development hasn't affected the flow rate.
It's important to note that not only did the greater building boom happen after but a specific example the Wal-Mart was approved in 1999 and built shortly after. I firmly believe that the Wal-Mart swale (that floods out Spring Creek Rd. after most major rain events) is a major contributor to our flooding issues. The backflow is a significant cause of flooding upstream of Mill Creek and Spring Creek Rd. As most township residents can attest and have seen first hand, the waterflow across Spring Creek from Wal Mart and other points into Upper Macungie Township north of Hamilton Boulevard resembles a raging river during floods.
It is unfair to blame these residents for "purchasing flood prone property" when the sprawling development that our leaders have allowed for 2 decades have largely contributed to this problem AFTER the residents purchased this home.