Flood damage in South Fayette estimated at $300,000

Published Jul 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm (Updated Jul 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm)

South Fayette’s township manager, along with the board of commissioners, gave an update at a July 17 meeting on the damage the township sustained during the July 10 rain storms. Board of Commissioners President Deron Gabriel said the county assessed storm and flood damage in the township to be approximately $300,000. Commissioners officially ratified the state of emergency declaration that was issued July 10.

Township Manager Ryan Eggleston showed the board a map of some of the areas hit hardest by the storms. He said problem areas included portions of Millers Run Road, including the intersection of Millers Run at Presto-Sygan Road and near the Cuddy Post Office and the gas station area along Millers Run Road. Eggleston said a good portion of residential flooding occurred on South Fayette Street, where several homes owners had to call the fire department to have water pumped out of their basements.

Eggleston said there was “really bad flooding” in the Sturgeon area of the township, especially on Main Street below the Sturgeon fire station. There were flooding issues along Morgan Hollow, Presto-Sygan Road and Willowbrook as well as Tom’s Run Road, Coal Pit Run Road, Alpine Road and Boyce and Mayview roads.

About 100 storm-related calls came into the township last week, Eggleston said. He said storm clean-up is “currently in progress.” Eggleston added, “I can’t say enough about our public works crew.”

A few residents in attendance at the July 17 meeting were concerned about flood damage to their properties and what they could do about it. Maroon David and his wife, Sandy, along with their neighbor, Al Reid, who all live on Washington Pike, spoke out at the meeting with concerns about a tributary creek that floods when it rains. It flooded badly during the July 10 storms.

David said there is a tributary stream near their homes that eventually runs down to Chartiers Creek. He said the stream flooded during the storm and debris clogged the runoff pipe causing a river down the street and along Pinewood Drive, which he said flooded homes and yards. David also presented the board with video of the flooding on the morning of July 10.

Reid, who has lived in his home for 12 years, said that when there’s a big rain storm, he has to shovel out about 300 feet of creek because it becomes blocked. He said during the recent storm, his pool filled with muddy water and he saw eight-inch cinder blocks being washed down the stream in the heavy flow.

He told the board that he brought up the issue with the township of who is responsible for maintaining the runoff pipe back in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan. Reid added in 12 years no one has come to clean out the pipe except him. “I’m running out of places to dump the stuff,” he said.

David added that every time they hear thunder they get scared of what could happen. “It’s a river running through people’s backyards,” he said. He added that he’s also concerned that the water could be mixing with sewage because the pipes run next to each other.

Township Solicitor Jonathan Kamin said Washington Pike is a state road, so the state would control the maintenance of the road. Kamin said the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would most likely have jurisdiction over the tributary stream and it could be a municipal authority question regarding the sanitary sewer.

“It seems like the answer is ‘all of the above’ in terms of responsibility,” Kamin said. He said whoever owns the pipes should unclog them.

Commissioner Gabriel said he would include the area on the list of areas to be toured by county authorities. “I’m hoping relief is in site,” he said. “We’re on it.”

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