Collier residents blame developer for flood damage to homes
Lisa Lonerio watched in horror as rainwater washed down the hill near her Delfred Street home and gushed so hard it damaged the house next door.
“It was flying so hard down her backyard, it blew out the basement windows,” she said.
According to residents and township officials, the flooding is a result of storm-water runoff from the Prestley Heights development, which straddles Collier and Carnegie and is being development by Tri-State Design and Development.
Lonerio's house was not damaged during the storm, but, she said, she feels for her neighbors.
“To see some of these people who are older — retired and on a fixed income — to see them have to foot the bill for it is ridiculous. It's just ludicrous.”
Residents at recent township commissioners' meetings reiterated the damages to homes and property and their frustration with the perceived lack of response from Tri-State developer Hiroo Patel.
Chip Misner of Dorothy Street told commissioners the storm dumped 18 inches of water into his basement.
Eric Brandebura of Colecrest Street said his yard was filled with debris. He said he does not feel he should be responsible for its removal.
“I literally had a river running through my yard,” he told commissioners.
It has been 78 days since the July 10 floodwaters, caused by heavy morning rains, raced into yards and basements and wore on infrastructure, but Brandebura and other Cubbage Hill-area residents are still feeling the effects.
And they want answers.
“We're not going to let up,” Lonerio said. “We've been here a lot longer than that plan's been here.”
Collier officials, including code enforcement officer Tom Plietz, met with Patel Sept. 5 to discuss options for controlling the runoff. Solutions included higher curbs, increased earthen berms and larger detention areas at the development site.
Collier engineers Larry Souleret and Tim McClelland accepted the solutions with the stipulation that Patel send a detailed solution plan by Sept. 12. Township manager Sal Sirabella said no plan had been received as of Sept. 20.
Patel on Sept. 13 said that he was in the process of instituting solutions but would not elaborate.
“We are anticipating a plan from Tri-State Design that is acceptable to our engineers,” Sirabella said.
In the meantime, he said, township officials would continue to “implement all legal remedies.”
Those legal remedies include making claims for costs incurred by the township, including legal fees. Sirabella said those currently are the only avenues being pursued by the township. Residents seeking compensation for damages would have to do so on their own.
The developer's bond money could also be used to pay for township repairs.
Such legal remedies also take time — something wearing on the nerves and patience of those affected by the Prestley Heights runoff problems.
“We're all very passionate about this,” Lonerio said. “The integrity of this neighborhood has been jeopardized, and that's not right. The same people have been living here for years, and it's not fair to them to be dealing with this 50 years later.”
She said she and her neighbors do not fault residents who have bought homes in Prestley Heights, but rather the developers for not taking swift and definitive action.
“Everyone just cringes and holds their breath when we hear there's going to be a storm,” she said. “No one knows what's going to happen next.”
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or email@example.com.
Add Megan Guza to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Bridgeville farmers market set to open this spring in new location
- Scott Township musician prepares to release new album
- Re-enactors bring authentic touch to Woodville Plantation
- March comes in like a birthday party for many Carnegie-area residents
- Oyler: Readers’ responses to columns warm the heart
- Carnegie blues festival plans cause tension
- Red Bull Inn’s salad dressings return to Carnegie
- Collier resident a well-known astrologist
- South Fayette to restart bidding for Star City site development
- Scam activity growing in frequency, boldness, police say
- Students improve reading with help of therapy dog at Crafton library