Many think rampant overdevelopment in the LV is the chief cause of all this flooding. But according to Angle and The Express Times, waters released from upriver reservoirs exacerbate the problem. He believes these artificial lakes should be kept at lower levels so that they don't overflow into rivers during times of significant rainfall. Three New York reservoirs, each over fifty years old, are always maintained at 105% capacity. PP&L also admitted releasing water from Lake Wallenpaupack at the wrong time of the year, which increased river levels.
Angle has repeatedly attempted to schedule hearings with the Army Corps of Engineers and Delaware River Basin Commission to see what can be done locally to mitigate or prevent future floods. But he's been completely ignored by both agencies, which frankly is insulting to LV residents.
So last Thursday, at Angle's request, Northampton County Council unanimously adopted a formal resolution that simply invites the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Delaware River Basin Commission to meet with Council and discuss recent flooding. Unfortunately, Council was spinning its wheels.
The very next day, we learned from the Express Times that the same officials who've been ignoring Northampton County Council, need $500,000 to "study" how manipulating reservoir levels will affect flooding. If they get any money, I suggest they buy some phones. It would have been nice if anyone in these government agencies had enough respect for LV residents to at least respond to a Northampton County official. But are they really interested in solving the problem?
I see nothing wrong with a study, but it should accompany immediate action. Reservoir levels need to be reduced or we will soon have a fourth and fifth 100 year flood. But do politicians have the political will to do anything? I'd like to see a study on that question. People with summer homes near manmade lakes will be quite upset if water levels drop. And they vote and contribute to campaigns. Their property values may go down with water levels, but at least their homes won't be floating away.
So what's it going to be? Are government officials really interested in solving the problem or are they sandbagging us? I know this much. They move a lot more slowly than floodwaters.
New Jersey attorney Jeff Russo thinks government officials are sandbagging us, too. Today's Express Times tells us he's filed a notice of intent to sue New York City on behalf of flood victims. In Russo's words, "nobody is taking the lead." And Russo does not think we can wait for the year or more that the flood mitigation study will take. "We can't wait that long."