County assessing Forward flooding
Allegheny County officials visited Forward Township on Tuesday to assess the impact of recent flooding and ongoing Marcellus shale drilling on the Pangburn Hollow Road corridor.
The visit included conversations with flood-affected residents and two employees of EQT Resources, which is drilling in the area.
“It was in the basement and the whole yard,” said Sharon Hesford, who lives near Perry Mill Run, which runs adjacent to her home and much of Pangburn Hollow Road.
Her neighbor Nancy Stragland also had her basement and garage flooded.
Over the years, Stragland said, she and her family have had their property damaged numerous times because of flooding from the creek.
“We've lost 3 feet of property at the bottom of our yard,” Stragland said.
Allegheny County Councilman Bob Macey, who was accompanied by public works and road officials from the county, said he believes many of the flooding problems were caused by people throwing debris in the stream.
“Look at the rubbish and trees,” said Macey, standing near a point on the stream cluttered with litter. “People trim their trees and throw it in the creek. People need to be better stewards of the community and stop littering our roads and streams.”
Forward Township Supervisor Ron Skrinjorich acknowledged there is a problem with litter in the streams.
“You ought to see (the stream near) Saddlers Hollow. If there ain't a hundred tires in there ain't none,” Skrinjorich noted.
But township Supervisor Tom DeRosa said a lot of the flooding issues were because of the strength of last week's storms.
“It was a freak rainstorm,” he said. “This is the first time we've had flooding like this down here in 15 years.”
The county and local officials also met with two EQT employees working near the intersection of Pangburn and Saddlers Hollow roads and discussed run-off issues, ATV usage and property lines as they pertain to the worksite.
One of the EQT employees told the officials that the company is planning a new survey of the site that hopefully will resolve some of the issues.
Macey said the county plans to resurface Pangburn Hollow Road once drilling is completed in the area, though that work is expected to take some time.
In the meantime, Macey said the county will assist the township in maintaining roads so they remain usable and able to withstand heavy rain.
Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or firstname.lastname@example.org.