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State Rep. Emily Kinkead Champions Bill To Help Homeowners Impacted By Landslides

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Neighbors in the city's Morningside neighborhood are concerned about a landslide that is threatening backyards.

It is all happening on El Paso Street in Morningside.

el paso street landslide
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"It seems like this whole slide is going all the way up and it stops at the bottom of my whole deck and the whole deck tipped over," neighbor Colleen Crnkovich said.

Crnkovich wants to know if a permanent fix will ever happen. She has already lost her deck, but she said her neighbors think the streets are even worse.

"Firetrucks can't get down here," Crnkovich said. "Any type of big FedEx, they all back down to about here, stop, walk, back out."

"It's just an eyesore, and it just doesn't look good," neighbor Pamela Chianelli said. "It's not safe."

State Rep. Emily Kinkead knows all about landslides. She lives on the North Side.

"I live in landslide world," she said. "There are several active landslides that are happening in Riverview Park."

A home in her district in Observatory Hill fell off the side of the cliff, and the two homes next door were condemned. A family in Bellevue also lost their lives in a house fire because emergency services could not reach them because of a landslide.

"It just became very, very clear that with all the different ways that people have been impacted with landslides, we need to provide some way for families to recover," Rep. Kinkead said.

Kinkead proposed House Bill 1054 hoping to create a way to help since no home insurance will cover the cost. The bill would use the state's emergency management system and establish special insurance and assistance funds to protect Pennsylvanians.

She thinks the recent Pittsburgh bridge collapse highlights the need.

"There's still a real possibility that landslides could impact our bridges, even the ones in better condition because they're anchored in hills and if a landslide comes down, you can see overnight a structurally sound bridge becomes unstable," Kinkead said.

Rep. Kinkead introduced the bill in March of last year, and it is sitting in the Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee.

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