McDonald Residents Blame Turnpike Project For Terrible Flooding

MCDONALD (KDKA) — There was more flooding in our area Tuesday, but this time, people believe it’s not just Mother Nature that’s to blame.

People in McDonald, Washington County, say they keep getting flooded this summer and Tuesday was the worst so far.

The street looked like a river, and brown muddy water flooded people’s basements.

“Rivers. Just everything surrounded in water,” resident William Stewart said. “We couldn’t even get out of the house at first.”

Stewart had to try to get his mother-in-law and cat out. No one was allowed back inside his home, since the basement flooded above the electrical box.

His sister pointed out two sinkholes that opened up in his yard.

“Blew a hole under his shed. This hole over here is about 8 feet deep,” she said.

“Terribly frustrating. I really work hard here to keep this nice, but I’m ready to give up, to be honest with you. This is twice in a week,” Stewart said.

Next door, Shawnee Boyer’s backyard remains underwater. The current was so swift, it moved everything around. She says this is the worst flooding so far.

“Have tubs of mud in my basement because I couldn’t walk through my yard to get rid of it from the last time it flooded,” she said.

Crews worked to clear mud from the road below. Several businesses had flooded parking lots. Gary Andreis owns an auto parts service and says the repeated flooding is killing him.

“We’re closed down three days out of the week now,” he said. “We’re losing business. Clients won’t come in, it’s too muddy.”

People here point to a project up the hill.

“Totally out of control,” McDonald Council President Patrick Powell said. “We’ve never had this problem before.”

Powell says it’s the expansion of a toll road by the Turnpike Commission, and while efforts have been made to hold the water back, it’s no match for Mother Nature.

“We probably didn’t have the vegetation, the trees to hold back the water, and it came like we’ve never had it before in McDonald,” Powell said. “We’ve never had flooding like this in the past.”

He says there’s also a problem with sediment blocking a drainage pipe, but he believes the Turnpike’s southern beltway project is the big issue.

KDKA tried to contact Turnpike officials Tuesday, but were told there was no one available Tuesday evening to address this issue.

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