ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A year after the massive flooding on McKnight Road, there are still concerns it could happen again. We just saw more flooding on the busy stretch Thursday.
Target 11 got a look at the pipeline blamed for the flooding last year and learned what Ross Township is trying to do to prevent future disasters.
The same pipeline below McKnight Road was blamed for the sinkhole that swallowed a car in 2014 and the flooding that trapped a burning car last summer near Siebert Road. Township officials say it's an aging stormwater drain pipe. In the 2017 flooding, a section of the pipe had collapsed. It caused water to back up in that area.
"The water can't enter the pipe," said Mike Funk, the Ross Township Public Works director. "It comes up through the basins."
The pipe starts up in McCandless and measures about three feet in diameter. It then runs underneath businesses and parking lots along McKnight Road. The pipe empties out into Girty's Run along Babcock Boulevard. By then, it's about 12 feet in diameter. Township officials believe it is more than 50 years old and say many parts of the pipe need replacing. That's the responsibility of private property owners along the route, but the township is working with them to try to get it done fast.
"A good piece of McKnight Road has been corrected," Funk told Channel 11. "There are still a lot of businesses on McKnight Road that need to correct problems."
Funk told us he is afraid if that doesn't happen soon, we could see a repeat of what happened in 2017. Several years ago, the township used a camera to inspect the entire pipe and has since notified businesses that have not yet made repairs. Ross Township Commissioner Steve Korbel says they need to act.
"They are all on notice and they should understand what they are facing, and I would hope that all of the property owners in that portion of McKnight Road would be good citizens, good neighbors and be proactive and take steps to protect the public," Korbel said. "Both from a property perspective and a life perspective."
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