Cranberry supervisors hear 2 inquiries related to flooding

Cranberry Township supervisors considered two inquiries related to the devastating July 19 flood along Deep Hollow Road and Riverside Drive at their meeting Thursday.

The flooding, an event that resulted in nearly $1.2 million in damages to bridges, roadways, buildings and more, prompted Riverside Drive resident Ed Barrett to suggest the township build retention ponds along tributaries of Sage Run along Riverside Drive and Lower Two Mile Run adjacent to Deep Hollow Road and near Route 322.

“Build them to slow the water down,” said Barrett. “We have the money and the equipment and the people to do that.”

When Harold Best, chairman of the supervisors, said many of the available properties for such ponds would be privately owned, Barrett said, “Then buy them.”

“The first time, (that flooding) is an act of God. But that’s not true if it keeps happening,” said Barrett.

Supervisor Fred Buckholtz replied, “That’s a good point. We’ll look into it.”

The second comment was related to flooding along Deep Hollow Road, a situation a resident there said was exacerbated by a faulty water containment pond over the hill at the Cranberry Mall.

Township manager Chad Findlay said he became aware of a potential problem at the pond just recently and met this week with the mall manager.

“New piping apparently came apart,” said Findlay, adding that the manager arranged to get a contractor to repair it.

“Hopefully, it has been taken care of,” Findlay said.

The Deep Hollow resident suggested the township should regularly monitor the retention pond and its outlet flow to ensure excess water is not released.

Findlay said he was unaware of any agreement between the mall and the township to allow for regular checks.

Money and help

On the topic of the July 19 flood, Findlay told the supervisors the Army Corps of Engineers has been in touch with him and has scheduled a meeting at the flood sites to review potential solutions.

Findlay, as well as state Sen. Scott Hutchinson and Congressman Glenn Thompson, have reached out to the Army Corps of Engineers to assist in developing a flood mitigation plan.

Findlay said he also asked state officials about the possibility of using some Community Development Block Grant monies to help make flood-related repairs.

While some of the funds could be targeted for emergency road-related repairs, Findlay said those grants would not be available until next year. In addition, obtaining permits to do some repair work would further delay the process.

“Once we know what we need, though, we can ask for a grant modification,” he said, citing as one example a $76,000 job to repair and recover a dislodged sewer line along Sage Run.

He also is exploring a Small Business Administration program that could offer low-interest loans to repair or replace flood-damaged buildings. A link to the program is available on the township’s website.

Letters will be written

The supervisors agreed to write letters to Gov. Tom Wolf and the state Department of Human Services in protest of the announced closing of Polk Center.

Similar letters will also be sent to Wolf and the Department of Human Services from the Cranberry Economic Development Committee.