ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Ross Township commissioners have signed an emergency declaration after severe flooding caused major damage to McKnight Road.
Some of that damage includes a sinkhole that opened on McKnight Circle across from Ross Park Mall.
"It puts your property at risk and it puts the public at risk and we can't have that. We need all the property owners on McKnight Road to fix this pipe," Ross Township Commissioner Steve Korbel said.
In a Target 11 exclusive in 2018, Korbel predicted another sinkhole would open up along McKnight Road because of an aging storm drain that runs several miles through the area.
On Thursday after torrential rains, the road leading to Waldorf Apartments collapsed.
"There is a 72-inch-wide pipe. It's about 17 feet down, and it collapsed, so it backed the water that was coming down McKnight Road," Korbel said.
The apartment complex said it is releived that residents and employees are safe and is working with authorities to have the road repaired as soon as possible.
This is the third time a section of this pipe, originally installed in the '50s has collapsed. One sinkhole swallowed a car, and every time, Korbel has urged business and property owners to fix the pipe so this doesn't happen.
"We've been asking the landowners along McKnight Road to make these repairs, and some of them have and some of them haven't, and when you don't make the repairs this is what happens," Korbel said.
So far, no one has been hurt in any of the collapses. Residents are hoping the massive sinkhole will convince business owners.
"And that's the problem. They can't get everybody to get together and do it all and take care of it because it's all corroded and rusted out," Korbel said.
The other sinkhole, in 2018, cost about $200,000 to repair. They said this one will be substantially more.
The township said the road and the pipe belong to the apartment complex and the township will send them a bill for the cost of the repairs.
Lobos, the company that owns the complex, sent the following statement to 11 News:
“We are relieved that our residents and employees are safe and we are grateful to emergency personnel for responding to the situation so quickly. We are working with authorities to have the road repaired as soon as possible. Currently we are advising residents to enter and exit the property through the adjoining parking lot, and we thank First National Bank and Chick-Fil-A for being so accommodating.”
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