Scott officials and engineers are trying to determine what caused recent widespread structure flooding, particularly in Wards 3, 4 and 9.
These wards also experienced flooding issues in the 1990s.
However, after officials were deluged with complaints at their lengthy workshop meeting Aug. 13, there is some good news to report.
Gateway Engineers, which was hired by Our Lady of Grace Church at Bower Hill Road and Kane Boulevard, found two clogged catch basins behind Elmbrook Lane, Ward 4 Commissioner David Calabria said Monday. The basins have been cleared, and the firm is suggesting a swale or depression be built at the rear of the church's parking lot to make sure water runoff goes into catch basins.
Also, at the request of Mr. Calabria and fellow Commissioner Stacey Altman of Ward 3, state Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Dormont, applied for a grant to help people who lost their businesses to floods. A building in the 2100 block of Bower Hill Road that was home to three businesses was condemned because of damages from the flood. The same site has been hard hit before with rushing floodwaters.
Still, flood victims like Megan Owens of Ryan Drive in Ward 9 told harrowing stories at last week's meeting. She incurred $30,000 in damages from 3 feet of stormwater and can't get flood insurance because of repeated claims made against her property in the past 30 years.
Pointing out that she cannot afford to stay in her home, Ms. Owens said, "Nothing has been done to improve the sewer system in 14 years."
She believes the township is liable for her problems, but a representative from Scott's insurance carrier disagreed.
Calling the flooding an act of God, the agent said the township doesn't have to pay. However, he acknowledged some claims were paid in 1999.
Dennis Moorcroft of Berkwood Drive was quick to state that he doesn't believe God is the responsible for what happened on his street. Both he and Beth Tomasovic complained there are no storm drains in their area.
Joe Woznicki of Ryan Drive blamed the flooding problems in his neighborhood on stormwater runoff from nearby Chatham Park.
"Our properties are dwindling away," he said.
Some residents reported, too, that their homes were flooded with raw sewage.
Betty Ritson, who said her house on Rockhill Road has been flooded five or six times since 1972, reported 18 inches of sanitary sewage water in her basement July 10. Dave Dozzi of McMonagle Avenue also reported sewage in his basement, as did 7th Ward Commissioner Craig Stephens on Orchard Spring Road.
Newer construction does not appear to be immune to flooding, either. Water runoff was reported on Pine Trees Drive in Ward 2, prompting Commissioner Bill Wells to state, "You can't expect people to buy $300,000 homes with this problem. The system didn't begin to handle the amount of water that came through."
Township engineer Larry Lennon replied that street's system was designed for a 10-year event rather than the 10-25 year storm that occurred. Anything built since 1998 must be able to collect for the larger storms, he added. Mr. Lennon, who is compiling a list of streets with repeated flooding, noted that not all sewers in the township belong to Scott.
Residents also brought up the issue of disclosure, with several noting that they were never informed about their properties' flooding histories prior to purchasing.
Mr. Wells conceded board members are stymied by the amount of reported flooding, but they hope to come up with a solution.
Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org