MONONGAHELA, Pa. (KDKA) — Three feet of water was in the basement of the Monongahela Fire Department after Thursday’s rainstorm.
Images posted to the fire department’s Facebook page showed how bad the flooding was. Crews are now in clean-up mode and searching for answers.READ MORE: Wilkinsburg Arts Festravaganza Celebrates Arts
On Friday, restoration crews tore down drywall and pulled out soaked insulation.
“It was just so quick and fast. We did lose some stuff but nothing too major,” said Monongahela Fire Chief Aaron Leezer. “Absorbent, we use for fire calls, a couple of pumps we lost for pumping water in these situations to help out residents.”
The city said the fire department has been dealing with flooding for years and it’s slowly getting worse. City officials are pointing to a collapsed storm drain as the cause. The problem is that the drain sits under a nearby Norfolk Southern rail line.
“They don’t want anyone working under the track except for their crews to be sure it’s done in a safe manner, so we need a permit from them and permission from them and they need to get their crew here to shore up the pipe and clear out the blockage,” said state Senator Camera Bartolotta.
The city said funding has been the holdup.READ MORE: Man Dies After Being Struck By Vehicle Near Heinz Field On North Shore
“The city doesn’t have money taking care of emergency situations with pipes and storage lines throughout,” said Monongahela City Councilman Ken Kulak.
Bartolotta said the city is waiting on some grant money, which they want to be released immediately.
“This is a very serious health and safety issue, not just for these folks that work here but for everyone in the community because we need to have these buildings and the people in them be able to get to work and do their duty,” said Bartolotta.
The fire chief said none of his fire trucks were damaged.
Norfolk Southern released this statement:
“We are working directly with local officials who are responsible for the drainage pipe. Together, we have determined a short-term solution to the flooding. Since receiving the repair request from the city’s contractor on June 23, we have been reviewing their proposed engineering plans to ensure their integrity and safety, while working as quickly as possible to address the issue.”MORE NEWS: Two People Found Dead In Forward Twp. Home, Police Investigating
The railroad’s spokesperson went on to say it’s assisting with equipment to help pump outstanding water and clearing some areas for temporary drainage.