Latrobe, Derry Township pursue study of flooding along Sulphur Run |

Latrobe, Derry Township pursue study of flooding along Sulphur Run

Jeff Himler
Floodwater that overran a ditch just upstream of Latrobe’s Josephine Street on June 20, 2018, is seen from the parking lot of the Latrobe First Church of God, on Princeton Street, looking northeast toward Raymond Avenue.

Latrobe and Derry Township are jointly pursuing a federally-funded hydraulic study that could help identify the best methods for controlling flooding in the Sulphur Run watershed that crosses through the neighboring municipalities.

Heavy rainfall last June 20 triggered flooding of the stream that damaged businesses at the Lincoln Road Plaza and on adjacent Josephine Street in Latrobe, as well as a nearby church.

Since then, the city and the plaza owner have made repairs and improvements to storm water infrastructure where the flooding occurred. The study could suggest other projects to help alleviate flooding along the stream that flows from the township into the city and empties into the Loyalhanna Creek.

Latrobe Council Monday authorized applying for the study.

If approved through the Army Corps of Engineers, the study would look at “what problems are there and ways to reduce flooding well into the future,” said Latrobe city manager Michael Gray.

Derry Township officials signed a letter of interest indicating they also want to participate in the study, which would tap federal technical services and would not require a local match.

“If the funding comes through, we’re all for it,” said township Supervisor Vince DeCario. “We can see where the water issues are and the best way to go about fixing them.

“The problem is when you get flash floods. I just hope this summer isn’t like last summer.”

DeCario said the township separately received a $250,000 state grant for developing a retention pond off Meadow Drive to help alleviate flooding and is in talks with the Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center for use of some of its property for the project.

Flooding last year also worsened erosion of a Loyalhanna Creek stream bank bordering Latrobe’s refuse transfer station. City council Monday accepted estimated funding of about $50,000 through the state’s Growing Greener program to stabilize the stream bank.

The city will be responsible for a local 15% match of about $6,000.

“A significant amount of the bank got eroded away,” said Gray.

He said plans for that project remain to be finalized and couldn’t say when the work might occur.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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