ShareThis Page
Carnegie residents by Chartiers Creek losing backyards to flooding |

Carnegie residents by Chartiers Creek losing backyards to flooding

Matthew Guerry
| Sunday, October 7, 2018 1:33 a.m
When the stream behind Debra May’s home in Carnegie swelled during a June storm, it toppled embankment retaining walls and sunk nearly half of her backyard.

Several Carnegie residents who live along a tributary of Chartiers Creek said the stream’s tendency to swell with rainwater is taking a toll on their property. For Debra May, it’s resulted in the toppling of embankment walls and has sunk nearly half of her backyard.

May said the damage to the walls and her property was caused by the June storm that flooded parts of Carnegie and devastated neighboring Bridge­ville. May said the trouble in her backyard first began when it was damaged in 2004 by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan.

“Believe it or not, we used to have a swimming pool in that backyard,” May said. “I grew up there. It was a functional, whole yard.”

The borough is responsible for embankment upkeep north of the bridge on Morrow Avenue spanning the stream, while the Army Corps of Engineers was thought to be responsible for walls south of the bridge. Corps officials last month inspected May’s yard and those of her neighbors but said recently that they do not have jurisdiction over those homes after all, according to current flood control project boundaries.

Charles Infantino, emergency manager for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Pittsburgh District, said the borough should pursue repairs on its own and apply to have the embankment brought into a Corps program called Public Law 8499. The program would provide insurance for the embankment after its reconstruction and fund 80 percent of any future repair fees should it be damaged again in the future.

“That would be the best process,” Infantino said.

Carnegie Borough Manager Steve Beuter said the municipality has been aware of flood damage in that part of town for some time but is awaiting official correspondence from the Corps before taking the next step. Borough workers last month removed from the stream concrete slabs that had dislodged from the embankment in May’s backyard and laid them back against the soil, per Corps recommendation.

Beuter said the borough will continue to work with the Corps to find a solution.

The back and forth has proved frustrating for residents. May and neighbor Terry Hart, who said her backyard is beginning to sink in places, have complained to the Carnegie borough council several times since June.

“You get one story from the borough, and you get another story from the Army Corps of Engineers,” Hart said.

Matthew Guerry is a Tribune-Review contributor.

Categories: Carlynton
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.