Watch CBS News

Warmer, Wetter Weather Has State, Local Leaders Concerned

Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Last year was the wettest on record in Pittsburgh, and this year is already looking like it will follow the trend.

So is this the new normal?

In fact, we are still dealing with issues from 2018 when it comes to the amount of rain we saw and the landslides that rain caused. That is on top of the new problems that are already occurring this year.

Photo Credit: KDKA

State and local leaders are concerned.

Currently, PennDOT District 11 has around 85 active landslides in Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties alone, although every day it changes.

Those are landslides that they don't have the money to fix.

Photo Credit: KDKA

"First of all, we can't get to all of them," PennDot District Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni said. "Financially, we just cannot afford to fix all of them."

At this point, PennDOT estimates they need around $60 million to fix the active slides. The budget this year was $6 million.

"So we have only budgeted about one-tenth of the budget needed to repair them," Moon-Sirianni said.

The story is the same everywhere. 2018 was a record year when it came to rain, and long-term forecasts call for future yeas to not only be warmer, but wetter than we've become accustomed to.

That means local municipalities are having to change how and where they build.

"We track all the landslides and we've assisted the municipalities with all the floods that have happened," Allegheny County Emergency Management Chief Matt Brown said. "We are looking for the opportunities where state and federal government can assist."

There are plenty of opportunities.

Last year alone, Brown issued four declared disasters for Allegheny County. They were all due to heavy rain events that impacted the area.

"We're also helping them plan and prepare for what's to come," Brown said, "because this is more the norm."

Top five worst landslides the PA Department of Transportation is currently dealing with:
• Route 68 Midland Road in Beaver County due to the complexity and size of the slide as well as the coordination with the railroad
• Route 2058 Hulton Road in Penn Hills due to high daily traffic counts, the steep slope, and the coordination with a Turnpike project
• Route 2001 Bunola River Road in Elizabeth due to continual failures on the roadway
• Route 48 Scenery Drive in Elizabeth due to mine subsidence, a continual slow failure, high daily traffic counts, and other projects in the area with overlapping detours
• Route 4011 Rochester Road in Franklin Park due to multiple slides on the same road, high daily traffic counts, and a park property impacting the environmental clearance

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.