PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The City of Pittsburgh budgeted around $1.2 million for landslide remediation, but with the wet weather Mother Nature has handed us, repairs are costing the city 10 times that amount — an estimated $12 million.
Unforgettable video of a house crumbling down a hill in the city of Pittsburgh’s Duquesne Heights neighborhood back in February is hard to forget. A couple lost nearly everything.
“Just like trying to rebuild, rebuild 35 years,” said homeowner Beth Butler.
Rebuilding those 35 years will get a little easier, thanks to a fundraiser Sunday night in Mount Washington organized by a woman who didn’t even know them.
“I remember watching it and crying and feeling so helpless. I couldn’t imagine what they were going through. I wanted to do something to ease their pain,” organizer Natalie Carl said.
“You could say a thousand thank you’s and that wouldn’t be enough. We just thank everyone for showing,” said homeowner Charles Butler.
The threat of landslides keeps haunting the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding towns. Commercial Street and Forward Avenue in Swisshelm Park and Squirrel Hill had been shut down for some time due to a landslide.
The inbound lane just re-opened Friday, but the city planned to shut it down again Sunday with the threat of more rain. The outbound lane is closed indefinitely.
In Glassport, a landslide threatens several homes. Township officials said Oregon Street is crumbling down a hillside.
All these problems pushed Pittsburgh councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith to start up a landslide task force.
“We want to prioritize those landslides, identify the resources and get a game plan together to be proactive instead of reactive in addressing landslide and slip remediation issues with city of Pittsburgh,” said councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith with the city of Pittsburgh District 2.
The task force passed through legislation and Kail-Smith said the group expects to meet in the coming weeks.
Dan Gilman, the mayor’s Chief of Staff, said the city only budgeted about $1.2 million for landlside remediation this year. However, with all the landslides and weather-related issues the city has been having, Gilman estimates repairs costing around $12 million, and that doesn’t include weather-related issues that have yet to happen.