ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — A Ross Township family wants answers after a neighboring creek flooded their home for the second time in three years.
The same creek has flooded Union Avenue each of the past two weekends. PennDOT owns the road and said the problem is a pipe on the private properties of an embroidery shop and a Verizon facility. PennDOT said the pipe is too small to handle the water flow.READ MORE: 2nd Penn State Student Dies From COVID-19
In looking at data from KDKA meteorologists, there isn’t anything saying this area is getting some epic rain totals. So too much rain doesn’t appear to be the only problem.
In Bill Kerr’s basement, dirt covers the floor as he continues the cleanup from the water coming into his house on Saturday.
“We’re just worried that any big rain, no matter what we do here, is just going to ruin it,” Kerr said.
He now has a crew coming out to see if his home’s foundation is damaged. They can’t come out until August.
“We have to wait on that and it’s an expense we really aren’t looking forward to,” Kerr said.
PennDOT said the pipe just downstream is causing the mess. They have sent out notices to the property to address it.
“We have to get these issues repaired in a timely fashion,” PennDOT District 11 Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said over Zoom.
“They’re saying I need to fix the pipe, but I don’t know what the fix is,” property owner Mario Nazareth said.
Nazareth owns the embroidery shop and its property along Union Avenue. He said the pipe was never a problem, but there is more runoff coming into the creek during storms.READ MORE: Living Life To The Fullest: Local Businessman Thriving Thanks To Breakthrough Treatment For SMA
“There more water coming down from the school than I have ever seen before and it’s all being directed to this culvert,” he said.
Nazareth estimates replacing the pipe could cost tens of thousands of dollars and would like to know what exact changes need to be made.
“If you do something here, it’s going to affect people downstream,” he said.
“There’s really nothing the taxpayers can do to fund these private issues, but we will assist in reviewing and helping as much as we can,” Moon-Sirianni said.
As for Kerr, he would like to use his basement without fear of it becoming an indoor pool.
“I have to live here,” Kerr said.
He doesn’t want to play the blame game but wants a solution to prevent any more repeats.
“I’d love for them to sit down with me and maybe even show a little love to the community. These guys step up and make a problem better and say we’re here for the community,” Kerr said.
PennDOT said if it gets to a point where no action is done, it will do the job and bill the two properties. Ideally, PennDOT would like to avoid that.MORE NEWS: McKeesport Police Searching For Missing 13-Year-Old Thomas Grier
Nazareth said he wants to be part of the solution. He has already pulled debris out of the pipe in the meantime. KDKA reached out to Verizon but has not heard back.