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Fox Chapel

Squaw Valley Park in O'Hara closed indefinitely after July 2 flood damage

Tawnya Panizzi
| Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, 12:39 p.m.
Squaw Valley Park in O’Hara was heavily damaged in the July 2 flooding and will remain closed until fall.
Squaw Valley Park in O’Hara was heavily damaged in the July 2 flooding and will remain closed until fall.

Squaw Valley Park in O’Hara, the popular destination for trail-walkers, children and basketballers, will remain closed for the foreseeable future, township officials announced today.

Hard hit by July 2 storms and subsequent flooding, the park along Fox Chapel Road is typically filled throughout the year by people fishing, playing sand volleyball or picnicking under the pavilion.

For now, there are only clean-up crews and contractors assessing work to be done.

“The park sustained substantial damage and we are beginning to determine a timeline for repair,” Manager Julie Jakubec said.

“The trail is gone, the adaptive playground is damaged and the tennis court is destroyed.”

There are no cost estimates yet. Crews have been busy clearing large debris from the stream that runs adjacent to the park. They have cleared from Delafield to Freeport roads, Jakubec said.

Fox Chapel officials are dealing with a similar situation at McCahill Field along Squaw Run Road, less than a mile away.

Manager Gary Koehler said crews have removed truckloads of gravel, logs and silt that were deposited by flood waters on several acres of the grass fields there.

“The parking lot was washed out and the fencing is damaged or missing,” he said.

The five-acre park has two baseball fields, a basketball court and a large open field used for other recreation. There is also a small playground.

All of it is unusable now since rocks and silt are about one-foot thick in some areas, Koehler said.

Crews are working to remove stones and sediment as the first step in preparing the fields for tilling and seeding.

Weather hasn’t cooperated over the past month since the storms.

“We need dry weather to be able to drive onto and work in the fields,” he said. “If the weather was dry this past month, the work would have been completed and the fields planted with grass.”

Koehler said the parking lot is being used as a staging area to load logs, brush and stumps from the surrounding parks into large steel bins for recycling into mulch.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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