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Old Hill Road closed in Jeannette

| Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 9:15 a.m.

A road in Jeannette was closed Thursday and declared a state of emergency.

Acting Mayor Michael Cafasso declared a portion of Old Hill Road unstable and dangerous.

"This street is impassable to vehicular traffic at this time," read a proclamation from Cafasso. "This situation is detrimental to the safety of the residents of Old Hill Road in particular and the residents of Jeannette in general."

City clerk Ron Dinsmore said the problem stems from a break in a 6-inch water line.

"It's a mess," Dinsmore said, adding the cause of the break is still to be determined. "The roadway washed out and went down over the hill. The whole hillside moved about a foot, foot and a half."

Dinsmore said a local businessman spotted a water leak coming out of the roadway yesterday between 10 and 11 a.m. and notified the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.

"By the time they got there, the road had spilt pretty good," Dinsmore said. "That's when everything started."

The break left four houses without water service yesterday morning, Dinsmore said. The water authority provided water buffaloes to provide temporary service to affected residents.

Sandbags were set up by the city's road department to block any more water that may seep into the affected area on a rainy evening.

Dinsmore said the hope is to have the road ready for at least emergency vehicles today.

Fire Chief Mike Bertolino said his department made arrangements with other companies to use smaller pieces of equipment, if needed.

For now, the state of emergency will continue for five days.

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