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Valley News Dispatch

Landslide closes Guys Run Road in Harmar

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Monday, April 16, 2018, 4:42 p.m.
A landslide covers a portion of Guys Run Road in Harmar on Monday, April 16, 2018. PennDOT said, as of Monday afternoon, the slide still was moving, preventing crews from beginning cleanup.
Courtesy of Steve Cowan, PennDOT
A landslide covers a portion of Guys Run Road in Harmar on Monday, April 16, 2018. PennDOT said, as of Monday afternoon, the slide still was moving, preventing crews from beginning cleanup.
A landslide blocks both lanes of Guys Run Road between Freeport and Locust Hill roads in Harmar on Monday, April 16, 2018.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
A landslide blocks both lanes of Guys Run Road between Freeport and Locust Hill roads in Harmar on Monday, April 16, 2018.

Guys Run Road in Harmar is closed indefinitely because of a landslide, which also knocked out power in the area, Harmar police said Monday.

Police Chief Jason Domaratz said police were notified of the slide between Locust Hill and Freeport roads about 7 a.m.

Guys Run Road is a state road.

“The road's closed down — we called the state out,” Domaratz said. “It looks like the hillside's still moving, so I don't think they're doing anything with it at this point.”

Domaratz said no one was hurt or trapped in the slide, but it did knock out power to the area, which has since been restored.

“West Penn Power was able to restore it for now but, by looking at that hillside, if more comes down it could knock the power out again,” the chief said.

West Penn Power spokesman Todd Meyers said two utility poles were damaged by the slide, affecting 94 customers.

“The slide is still moving, so we have not actually made repairs,” he said. “At this point, it looks like we'll need to get in here and replace two poles, but we can't make any repairs until the hillside stops its slide.”

He said the company was able to temporarily reconfigure the system and use different electric feeds to provide customers with power.

“That will work for now. Eventually we'll need to get those poles back in,” he said.

PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said state crews were assessing the situation. Mud, trees and other debris were still coming down the hillside by mid-afternoon Monday.

“There's still debris coming down, and there are power lines along the roadway so, obviously, crews need to be very careful,” Cowan said. “That's basically where we stand right now.”

Cowan couldn't say when the road might reopen.

He said about 4,300 vehicles use the roadway daily.

“I'm being told that the hillside is still moving at this point,” Cowan said. “It will remain closed until that stops and then we can actually have a crew go in and clean up the roadway.”

The detour follows Freeport Road, Route 910, Saxonburg Boulevard, Dorseyville Road, Fox Chapel Road, and Guys Run Road.

Domaratz said he doesn't anticipate the road reopening this week.

“At this point, I would just obviously stay clear of that area,” he said.

He said this slide is the worst he's seen on a local road.

“It's never been this bad there,” the chief said. “When we get some rain, maybe a big heavy tree will come down, knock some power out at that point. I took a few pictures. It's covering the whole roadway now and it's still coming.

“It came down off a hillside, covered the roadway, and now it's across the road over the guardrail.”

Cowan said motorists should look for alternate routes.

“We're hoping to have it cleaned up as soon as possible but, obviously, we received a lot of rainfall, and we're dealing with a lot of floods throughout the district,“ Cowan said.

Milltown Road also hit

Cowan said crews also were called to a slide along Milltown Road in Plum on Monday, near where two other landslides are currently under repair.

The newer slide is between Repp Road and Mill Street.

“The roadway was sliding, and the guiderail was separating prior to any of these storms,“ Cowan said. “However, (Monday) it was reported that it was more significant and our crews went out and they determined that the roadway needs to be reduced to a single lane.”

The older slides closed Milltown Road between Repp and Barnes roads in June 2015, Cowan said. Once the repair work on those two slides is finished, the contractor will start work on the new slide, he said.

Work on the two previous slides is expected to be completed soon.

“It should be in June that they reopen — could be sooner, but I believe June is the date that we are shooting at,” Cowan said.

Other slides reported

As of last week, there were 70 slides in PennDOT District 11, which includes Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties, Cowan said.

“Unfortunately there's just slides everywhere — it's just part of Western Pennsylvania,” he said.

Other slides reported in the region on Monday include:

• Brodhead Road (Route 3077) between Flaugherty Run Road and Shafer Road in Moon, Allegheny County

• Route 68 between the Shippingport Bridge and Wolf Run Road in Industry, Beaver County

• Route 906 between State Street and Route 201 in Washington Township, Fayette County

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4702,, or on Twitter @maddyczebstrib.

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