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Flood-control project wraps up

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

In Export, 2012 will be known as the year when the water stopped rising so quickly.

After more than a century of flooding in the borough, Export residents finally can breathe easy when a so-called “50-year-storm” comes to town. Work on the $9.8 million Turtle Creek flood-control project was completed this fall. The project was deemed so successful by the state Department of Environmental Protection — which managed the project — that a second phase was canceled. That phase would have offered relief along the western Murrysville-Export border. Officials said that won't be necessary.

The project was more than a decade in the making when it began in the fall of 2010. The borough had been ravaged by floods since at least the early 1900s. State and local officials spent years trying to determine the best way to tame Turtle Creek. In 2009, nearly three feet of water overtook the borough business district and damaged homes and businesses for the second time in as many years.

But the project passed its first test in late October. The remnants of Superstorm Sandy swept through the region, and dumped at least 3 inches of rain on the region in a short time period. Officials said they were impressed with the protection the project provided, as similar storms had wreaked havoc on the tiny borough in the past.

Export Council President Barry Delissio was honored by the state borough's association for his dedication and work on the project, which began in fall 2010. This summer, the association made Delissio the lone recipient of its Distinguished Service Award.

The project has changed Export forever. The $180,000 cost to the borough was a small price to pay, officials said.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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