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Fayette residents continue cleanup from flood

| Sunday, July 7, 2013, 11:42 p.m.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Marvin Striner, a street worker for South Connellsville Borough, sweeps away debris left by flood waters along Wine Street in South Connellsville on Friday.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Clean up is in progress, but evidence of the flooding at Gist Run is still evident at Dunbar Auto Repair on July 7, 2013 in Dunbar.

Nearly a week after a flash flood inundated his auto repair business in Fayette County, Stanley Klink has yet to reopen.

“We're still cleaning up mud,” Klink said on Sunday. “I got about 24 loads of sand out of here.”

Klink, 61, owns Dunbar Auto Repair Inc. on Church Hill Road next to Gist Run in Dunbar Township. He said three-quarters of the lot was flooded when heavy rains sent the creek over its banks last week, miring several cars in mud, covering equipment in sand and flattening a chain-link fence.

The flash floods damaged hundreds of private homes and businesses throughout the county, said Guy Napolillo, assistant emergency management director and 911 coordinator for Fayette County.

In addition, numerous roads and bridges were damaged, Napolillo said. North Union is estimated to have at least $1.5 million in damage to its roads and bridges, he said, with the area along Yauger Hollow Road the hardest-hit.

The county, North Union and Dunbar townships, and South Connellsville and Dunbar boroughs declared states of emergency because of the flooding.

County, state and federal officials are still in the process of assessing monetary damage to both private and public properties, Napolillo said, to see whether the area is eligible for a federal disaster declaration. A total for damage countywide should be available by Thursday, he said.

“We won't know for certain, but we'll have a clearer picture,” Napolillo said. “We are all of the opinion that this should qualify. There is a tremendous amount of damage.”

Napolillo said the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency likely will combine damage from several counties into a statewide request for the federal disaster declaration. A federal disaster declaration would make various types of assistance available to private and public entities, including low-interest loans, Napolillo said.

South Connellsville Mayor Pete Casini said 77 homes in the borough have flood damage and homeowners could use the assistance.

“I hope we get some funding for the residents because they took a pretty good beating,” said Casini, noting that many of the flooded homes tallied thousands in damage to furniture and appliances.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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