Allegheny County assembles landslide task force

Severe weather on Monday night was yet another reminder of the damage flooding and landslides can do to area communities, whether it's on Route 28 or in a basement.

The familiar scene of flooding and landslide damage playing out over and over again led Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to begin looking for solutions to a problem that's plaguing western Pennsylvania.

“Are there things that are done that we need to be more cognizant of? But it's really a learning experience to try to bring people together to solve this problem,” he said.

Fitzgerald recently sat down for an exclusive interview with 11 Investigates to discuss the county's new landslide task force.


The goal is to find ways the county can work with agencies like PennDOT, geologists, developers and the 130 municipalities to deal with the issue.

“If there are some telltale signs of a hillside and some signals that are being sent that this could be next if we get another severe rain storm season over a couple of weeks, yes, we want to be able to alert people,” he said.

For now, the focus is on opening the lines of communication and being proactive. There are unique challenges for each community, but Fitzgerald is eager to find common ground with the multitude of agencies involved.

“Most people and most organizations, when they come together, typically work together to try to find a solution,” he said.