MCDONALD (KDKA) — It was standing room only at Thursday night’s town hall meeting hosted by state Rep. Jason Ortitay at the borough building in McDonald.
Residents and business owners told officials from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission they’ve had enough of the flooding since the Southern Beltway project started and are ready for action to be taken.
“It’s been 10 months, 11 months, eight different times we’ve flooded it’s been pretty hard,” said Mark Finney, owner of 980 Full Service Mart.
Finney’s business was damaged from flooding last Friday night. Mud and debris was all over the ground outside and covering the floor of the garage and office.
“Turnpike Commission, their No. 2 guy, was there Saturday morning. He authorized us to call a cleaning company to help with all the mud,” said Finney.
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Finney re-opened his business Tuesday evening.
“The cleaning company was there for four days, so I lost four days of business,” said Finney.
Terry Tackett was also at Thursday night’s town hall meeting.
“I’ve got more gray hair this past weekend than I’ve had all my life,” Tackett said.
Tackett said he got water in his basement and garage from drainage that came down from the Southern Beltway project nearby. Officials with the Turnpike Commission hope to reach a resolution soon.
“Getting the sediment ponds in place quicker, and making sure all the water bars are in place, and making sure that water will not now flow into McDonald,” said Renee Colborn, with the Turnpike Commission.
“The second solution is to get a bigger pipe in place that is actually able to pass the storm water volumes down through the properties at the lower end of the street,” said Ronald Schwartz, with the DEP.
Until then, folks affected by flooding will have to file a claim and the Turnpike Commission will pay them back for damages.
“I didn’t get anything out of it. They’re not doing anything for me. I’m still fighting claims from last year,” said Tackett.
Officials with the Turnpike Commission expect the entire Southern Beltway project to be completed and opened to traffic in late 2020 or early 2021.