PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Four Caterpillar excavators worked in a carefully choreographed dance atop the mud of a massive landslide in Pittsburgh’s West End. Three topside and one below, they loaded tons of mud into triaxle trucks to be hauled to a dump site in Harmarville.
They’ve been working around the clock as rush hour drivers are forced to detour around the closed roads at the funnel point of the West End.
“I’ll be surprised if we have these roads reopened by the end of next week,” one worker volunteered.
Officially, “next week” is the prognosis for ending the rush hour nightmares.
KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:
Meanwhile, crews cleared away most of the remains of Beth and Charles Butler’s home of 35 years. Beth says they got out with their medicines, important documents, some pictures and a bit of clothing when they evacuated over the weekend.
“Furniture, other clothing, any other necessities, it’s all gone. The house is not there anymore, they took the last of it down today. So there’s nothing there,” she said.
The Butlers raised their three sons in the house on Greenleaf Street, and Beth says, “It was going to be my investment for retirement. It was a two-family home and it was going to be income coming in, and it’s not going to be anymore.”
To add insult to injury, she met with her Allstate Insurance agent Tuesday and was told, “That it’s a mudslide, and it’s not covered. It’s going to be denied.”
Allstate will cover the couple’s hotel bill through next week. Beth Butler works for UPMC as a secretary, Charles is retired.
Beth says, “I have no real savings, I just recently, within the past year, paid off the mortgage.”
The Butlers can’t believe the insurance answer.
Beth says, “All of these years, what do you pay for. If it’s not going to be there to cover your losses, your damages? How do you go forward if everything you have is taken? What do you do?”
Friends of the Butlers have started a GoFundMe page for them to try to help with the rebuilding costs. The hillside that came down and crushed their home is owned by the City of Pittsburgh, which has not yet investigated whether the city will be able to reimburse any of the Butler’s losses.
Beth laments, “I just don’t know what my next step is.”