Share This Page

Fortified waterway keeps Carnegie dry

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Ramdy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
Cathy Warner and Ed Cherosky, both of Carnegie, view the high rising water of Chartiers Creek along 1st Street in Carnegie.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
Candy Jordan points out a fire extinguisher floating down Chartiers Creek while holding her daughter, Myonah Jordan, 2, on the East Main Street Bridge in Carnegie.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Residents watch floodwater from McLaughlin Run spread out through Bridgeville on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.
Megan Guza | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Railroad Street in Bridgeville flooded Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

Carnegie Borough remained relatively protected during last week's heavy rains, which brought floodwaters into homes, businesses and roadways throughout Bridgeville, Collier, Scott and South Fayette.

“We had no widespread flooding of the creek or streams in Carnegie,” Mayor Jack Kobistek said after heavy rains pushed some area waterways over their banks on July 10.

However, due to the ground being saturated, some streets and basements flooded because of storm-water runoff issues, he said.

The relatively minor issues were a far cry from the floods that hit the borough in 2004. The remnants of Hurricane Ivan blew through the area Sept. 17, 2004, and brought more than five inches of rain. More than 20 people – including recently retired police chief Jeff Harbin – were left stranded on the Mansfield Bridge. Hundreds of homes and much of the borough's business district were destroyed.

Post-Ivan, Congressman Tim Murphy helped the area secure funds and assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge, remove sediment and reconstruct parts of Chartiers Creek, the waterway responsible for the Carnegie flooding, according to interim borough manager Steve Beuter.

The area saw flooding again in 2010, after which the Army Corps of Engineers returned to secure the banks along Campbells Run Road.

“These procedures would help to better contain flow traveling these waterways,” Beuter said.

On top of the help received from the Corps, the Carnegie Public Works Department has also stepped up efforts to prevent such flooding again.

“(The department) routinely maintains the areas surrounding the creeks in order to clear any unwanted debris,” Beuter said. By doing so, the department clears the way for better, less hindered water flow — keeping the water moving rather than rising.

Bridgeville wasn't so fortunate.

The areas of Baldwin and Railroad streets were hardest hit after more than two inches of rain pushed McLaughlin Run over its banks and into businesses and homes.

Bridgeville fire Chief Bill Chilleo said the flooding was on par with that of Ivan in 2004.

Flooding started at about 8 a.m. last Wednesday, and water began receding by about 10 a.m.

More than 10 fire and rescue companies responded to flooding there, where waters from McLaughlin Run spilled into streets and homes. River rescue teams also were on hand and had to help several people out of the rising water.

One woman had to be plucked from the water after she was found clinging to the bumper of a tractor trailer parked near the Beer Warehouse at Railroad and Baldwin streets.

Because so many companies responded, officials did not have a final count on injuries and rescues.

Chilleo said the borough was hit much harder than the department had anticipated based on weather reports.

“We didn't expect it to be this bad,” he said.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.