WYSOX TOWNSHIP - A flood prevention project on Laning Creek in Wysox Township, which is aimed at preventing another devastating flood in the township's commercial area on U.S. Route 6, is only one-quarter complete.

"It needs to get done," said James Good, a Wysox businessman who has spearheaded the project. "We're still in jeopardy" if another bad storm were to hit the area, he said.

The project, which was begun after Tropical Storm Lee caused serious damage to businesses along Route 6 in the township, involves cleaning debris and gravel bars from 1,000 feet of Laning Creek, beginning at the Lehigh Valley railroad bridge just east of CraftMaster Road and continuing upstream to a location behind the Bonanza restaurant, Good said.

The project, which is sponsored by the Central Bradford County Chamber of Commerce, also involves installing large pieces of rock at curves in that section of the creek, in order to prevent further breaches of the stream bank, he said.

So far, Phase I of the project has been completed, which was the work that needed to be done on a 250-foot section of the creek that begins at the railroad bridge, he said. But the remaining 750 feet of the project still needs to get done, he said.

Due to the slowdown in gas drilling in the area, the company that did the first phase, KBD Excavating, has left the area, he explained.

Because KBD Excavating profited from the gravel it removed from the creek - it used and sold the gravel for work related to the development of gas wells - it was able to do the first phase of the project at no charge to the township or to the chamber of commerce, Good said.

Organizers of the project are waiting for gas drilling to pick up again in the area, so that they can find a company willing to finish the project, he said.

Good said he has heard rumors that the gas companies would return this fall or next spring.

So far, $5,000 worth of rock has been purchased for the project, Good said. Good said he had originally thought the rocks would be needed for Phase I, but it turned out they were not. The rocks will still need to be installed during a later phase of the project, he said.

Good has said that there is a curve in the creek behind the Bonanza Restaurant and the Comfort Inn where uprooted trees became lodged during Tropical Storm Lee, which caused water to flow out of the creek bed and flood businesses along Route 6.

During phase I, a lot of gravel was removed from underneath the railroad bridge, where it had reduced the volume of water that could pass under the bridge by about half, Good said. During Tropical Storm Lee, the gravel buildup had contributed to the flooding, since not enough water could pass underneath the bridge, he said.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.