PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Tuesday’s rain caused a lot of concern about hillsides that are already pretty unstable.
It started with record rain in February.
“This is more rain than we’ve had for years,” John McCafferty with Penn Hills Code Enforcement said.
“It’s continued throughout March and into April now,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.
In Penn Hills, all the rain had the experts back looking at the Bramble Street slide.
“It’s still moving, and it’s getting bigger, the slide,” McCafferty said.
For the three homes below, now sitting condemned, McCafferty says, “I believe it is an imminent threat. The weather reports are for two more days of rain, and it rained all day today.”
Images of what happened in the West End when the hillside swamped the Butler family home and Greenleaf Street very quickly are fresh in McCafferty’s mind, and he believes that could happen in Penn Hills if the rain doesn’t let up.
The Greenleaf slide was by far the biggest of those in the city that have damaged more than a dozen homes.
As for the city’s slide budget, Peduto says, “We expect it to be anywhere from five to six times the amount we would usually spend in a year.”
That’s possibly $10 million to $12 million. While damage across the region has been substantial, the mayor says so far, it’s not enough to qualify for state or federal help.
“We are still looking at other sources of potential assistance,” Peduto said.
Meanwhile in Penn Hills, the homes remain evacuated with a possibility that two might survive.
“What we would require for that is engineer’s reports, corrective action reports, and then we would make that determination,” McCafferty said.
The cost for that would fall to the homeowners, but before that can happen, the rain must stop and the slide must stop moving.
When that will happen is anyone’s guess.