MCCANDLESS (KDKA) – The last three days have been a living nightmare for the Pennsylvania Golf Academy and driving range in McCandless.
The business remains closed Saturday after two days of heavy rain that left tons of mud and a small lake on the driving range.
“At ten feet deep, that goes out 75 yards,” Gene Walter, owner of the Pennsylvania Golf Academy, said. “That’s holding a lot of water in 15 minutes.”
Walter, family and friends have been working around the clock to clear away the mud and debris.
The flood waters are gone, but his losses are estimated in the thousands.
“We lost I don’t know how many thousands of golf balls in this storm here,” Walter said. “Probably 10,000 – 15,000 golf balls. At 65 cents, 70 cents a ball, basically we lose all our lesson revenue, all of our driving range revenue.”
Walter says it’s the fifth flood at his business this year. He admits the driving range is in a valley, but says the water is coming from other sources.
“The problem is that we have good drainage on my facility, but not enough good drainage that’s going to take on the responsibility of the entire neighborhood,” he said.
The source of the water is believed to be two dead end streets that run off Ingomar Road directly above the driving range.
One of the streets has two storm sewers for water runoff, but a neighbor shot video that verifies the sewers were ineffective.
On the other street, Justin Fries shot video of water running down the hill past his house, heading straight for the gold course.
“Just mass destruction,” Fries said. “It started off from the top up here going down to the back, down to the golf course area, and it was a raging rapid.”
Meanwhile, Walter says he’s asked McCandless Township for help and says he’s gotten no response. He is considering taking the township to court to get action.