GREENSBURG (KDKA) — Leaders in Westmoreland County are working to make sure their area is less vulnerable to flooding.
In Westmoreland County, 2018 will likely be remembered as the year of the flash floods.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Health Department Reports 1,730 New Cases, 38 Additional Deaths
“Rain water, storm water is a big issue for communities, and there’s really isn’t a good, easy plan,” Mt. Pleasant Borough manager Jeff Landy said.
Many residents showed up to listen to the county’s integrated water resources plan, anxious to see if the proposal can help.
“I actually bought my house 14 years ago and I’ve been flooding for the last 12,” Irwin resident Janet Seman said.
“Most folks don’t tend to think much about storm water until they get flooded, and one of the real priorities of this plan is to identify where the challenges are so we can plan properly into the future,” Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas said.
The plan, written by the Westmoreland County Conservation District, specifically zeros in on areas where flooding is regular.READ MORE: Man Arrested On Arson Charges In Spaghetti And Steakhouse Restaurant Fire
According to its authors, the plan takes into account everything from retaining ponds to new construction runoff and much more when it comes to a lot of water swelling the 2,300 miles of waterways and creeks that regularly put people and property in danger when it rains.
“What I like about this plan is that each municipality can pick and choose what they want to do to pass their own ordinance, but at least we’re giving them a sample to use,” Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli said.
According to county officials, more than 9,000 county residents live in areas where catastrophic flooding can and has occurred in the past.
This plan is the first to try and make changes to literally keep homes and heads above water.
“I don’t expect a miracle, but at least someone is trying to look into it,” Seman said.MORE NEWS: Victor Steban, Captured For Questioning In Westmoreland Co. Double Homicide, Found To Have Lengthy Criminal History
It’s now up to the commissioners to OK the plan. A vote is set for the end of May.