Allegheny County releases interactive map locating landslides | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Allegheny County releases interactive map locating landslides

Bob Bauder
1472543_web1_ptr-housecollapse4-022319
WPXI
A landslide in February damaged houses along Pittsburgh Semicir Street.

Allegheny County will roll out a comprehensive website charting the locations of landslides and slide-prone areas across the county and offering information that municipalities and residents can use to detect, prevent and remediate slides.

The county Landslide Portal includes an interactive map showing the locations of reported slides, areas susceptible to slides and roads owned by the county and the state. It also provides information on the causes, types and effects of slides, best practices for dealing with them and contact information for emergency management coordinators for each municipality.

County officials want residents and municipal officials to report slide areas to emergency coordinators. They say the site will be regularly updated as municipal officials review it and report slides.

“It’s basically being developed to provide an educational guide for municipal leaders,” said Steve Shanley, the county’s public works director. “The county executive wanted to give them a tool that they can use when landslides happen.”

County officials said the map can also be useful for prospective home buyers to determine whether a home they are considering is in a slide-prone area.

Users can browse the map and click on a marked slide to find out where it happened and possible causes. Pittsburgh’s notorious “red bed” soil makeup is particularly prone to sliding and is a main cause of many of the slides that have happened, according to the website. Another major cause is water and incorrect drainage.

The site also offers best practices on the proper techniques for stormwater mitigation.

“We had record rainfall last year, and we’re ahead of that this year,” Shanley said. “These storms seem to be sitting in certain areas and not moving through. It’s challenging for us, the city, PennDOT and the homeowners.”

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald last year established a landslides task force headed by Shanley and Emergency Services Chief Matt Brown. It included state and federal conservation officials along with representatives from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

The website was developed in-house by the county, according to county spokeswoman Amie Downs.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.