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Storms stir sewer problems in McKeesport

Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport maintenance manager Bob Robb and superintendent Chuck Schultz observe as crews access a broken sewer line below Ravine Street.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport maintenance manager Bob Robb and superintendent Chuck Schultz observe as crews access a broken sewer line below Ravine Street.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - A week of heavy rain caused a 6-foot brick sewer line to break, creating a sinkhole on Ravine Street.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>A week of heavy rain caused a 6-foot brick sewer line to break, creating a sinkhole on Ravine Street.
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By Patrick Cloonan and Michael Divittorio
Thursday, July 25, 2013, 5:21 a.m.
 

Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport crews are repairing a sinkhole on Ravine Street between Flagler and Point streets.

It opened on Tuesday morning as a hole approximately 3 feet by 4 feet and has since expanded as workers continue to dig.

“We still have to dig and see how much of this old line broke,” municipal authority superintendent Chuck Schultz said on Wednesday. “It's going to be basically exploratory just to see how far it is.”

The problem began when an old 6-foot sewer line broke, and recent storms compounded the issue.

“The rain had a good hand in washing everything away,” Schultz said. “This is an emergency job and we're trying to get this done as soon as possible.”

More of Ravine Street may be excavated between Flagler and Point and the line examined with a television camera. There is no set completion date for the project.

A broken sewer line caused water to back up four times in the past two weeks in a home along Cypress Alley in Glassport. State and county officials toured the borough on Monday. It is on a list of communities most heavily affected by severe weather.

“They're looking at everything that happened — flood, sewer, everything,” Glassport Councilman Dave Kowalski said.

Allegheny County Health Department offered health and safety advice for homeowners and business owners affected by flooding.

It advises using bleach to disinfect washable surfaces and warned about problems caused by carbon monoxide and mold.

The county advised property owners to ask for references and check them out when using a contractor for cleanup and repairs. Other questions can be answered by calling 412-687-2243 (ACHD) or checking www.achd.net.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Long Term Recovery Task Force is preparing to respond to needs of flood victims. It is a multi-county collaboration of Christian Associates of Southwestern Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters.

Those who incurred flood damage to their homes can call 211 or 888-553-5778. Volunteer deployment sites are being established at Central Highlands United Methodist Church in Elizabeth Township (412-751-0511), South Hills Interfaith Ministries in Bethel Park (412-854-9120) and Resurrection Lutheran Church in Oakdale (412-788-4513).

Patrick Cloonan and Michael DiVittorio are staff writers for Trib Total Media. They can be reached at 412-664-9161, Cloonan at ext. 1967 or pcloonan@tribweb.com, and DiVittorio at ext. 1965 or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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