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North Huntingdon officials proceed with plan to stem floods

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:03 p.m.

Flood relief could be coming to the residents of Fundistown Road this fall.

Last month, the North Huntingdon commissioners secured a storm-sewer easement from the Cavittsville Sportsmen's Club, which allows contractors to install a drainage system to divert most of the water from Westinghouse Avenue into a swale and pipeline into Brush Creek.

According to assistant township manager Mike Turley, Brush Creek runs through the Cavittsville Sportsmen's Club's land, which sits off of Route 993.

Officials plan to install storm sewer pipes in the Cavittsville Sportsmen's Club easement, which leads directly into the creek, Turley said.

“We wanted to divert storm water down to Brush Creek, but it was taking us a while to coordinate easements with several private properties,” Turley said.

“It took us a year or two, but we secured an easement from the Cavittsville Sportsmen's Club, which allows us to take the water down to the creek.”

Turley said the township then developed plans to divert the storm water with a diversion swale, which is a vegetation-covered ditch, in the township right of way, behind several residential properties.

If the township would have attempted to secure easements from property owners along Fundistown Road, one dissention could have derailed the entire project, Turley said.

The project is estimated to cost $32,000, but officials were soliciting bids from contractors. Turley hoped to have bids compiled in time for the commissioners' workshop meeting today, Thursday.

Officials hope to complete the project before the end of this month, depending upon the weather.

“We'll be installing a swale and drain pipe, but can't do that work in the rain,” Turley said. “The rain would make it difficult to install the drainage properly.”

Turley said that due to the area's steep topography, water runs down the hill from Westinghouse Avenue onto the properties below.

“This has been a problem for years and seems to have been getting worse,” Turley said.

“We need to collect the water from Westinghouse Avenue, which sits above Fundistown Road.

“There might still be some water collecting on those properties, but it won't be as much as it is now.”

Fundistown Road resident Ted Babbage said his property first had flooding problems in 1976, and has gotten worse. In August, he said, he accumulated 4 inches of water in his basement due to rain.

It is imperative the township move as quickly as possible to make changes to improve the area's drainage system, he said.

“I've about had it with these water problems,” Babbage said. “I'm getting crushed, and everybody on my street is having the same problem, and we're tired of waiting.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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