ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (KDKA) – A Ross Township family wants answers after a nearby stream flooded their home for the second time in three years.
The same creek has flooded Union Avenue on each of the past two weekends. PennDOT owns the street and said the problem is a pipe on the private lots of an embroidery and facility in Verizon. PennDOT said the pipe was too small to handle the flow of water.
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If you look at the data from KDKA meteorologists, there is nothing to suggest this area is getting some epic amounts of rain. So too much rain doesn’t seem to be the only problem.
Dirt covers the floor in Bill Kerr’s basement as he cleans up the water in his house on Saturday.
“We’re just worried that any big rain, no matter what we do here, will ruin everything,” said Kerr.
He now has a crew that comes out to see if the foundations of his house are damaged. You can’t get out before August.
“We’ll have to wait for it and it’s an issue we’re really not looking forward to,” said Kerr.
PennDOT said the pipe directly downstream is causing the mess. You have sent notices to the property to deal with this.
“We need to address these issues in a timely manner,” said Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, executive of PennDOT District 11, of Zoom.
“They say I have to fix the pipe, but I don’t know what it is,” said property owner Mario Nazareth.
Nazareth owns the embroidery and its property along Union Avenue. He said the pipe has never been a problem, but more runoff flows into the creek during storms.
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“There is more water coming out of the school than I’ve ever seen before, and it’s all going to that culvert,” he said.
Nazareth estimates the pipe could cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace and wants to know what exact changes need to be made.
“If you do something here, it will affect the people downstream,” he said.
“There is really nothing taxpayers can do to fund these private problems, but we will help with the review and guidance as much as we can,” said Moon-Sirianni.
Kerr would like to use his basement without fear of it becoming an indoor swimming pool.
“I have to live here,” said Kerr.
He doesn’t want to blame, but rather a solution to prevent further repetition.
“I would be happy if you sit down with me and maybe even show a little love to the community. These guys come up and fix a problem and say we’re there for the community, ”said Kerr.
PennDOT said if it gets to the point where no action is taken, it will do the job and take the two properties into account. Ideally, PennDOT would like to avoid that.
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Nazareth said he wanted to be part of the solution. In the meantime he has already pulled rubble out of the pipe. KDKA reached out to Verizon but heard nothing.