It was a month ago Tuesday that heavy rain flooded not only parts of Youngstown and Boardman but also places in Struthers.
Struthers, as it turns out, gets flooded frequently, which is why earlier Tuesday evening a public meeting was held for people to talk about their water problems and for city officials to explain what’s being done.
About 80 people packed Struthers’ Mauthe Park Community Center to talk about the flooding that’s plagued the city for years.
“We’ve lived here for seven years and we’ve gone through seven floods,” said Ashley Brumert, who lives on Fifth Street.
She had pictures from July 17 of the water running around the front of her house, creating a lake in her back yard.
“Do you know how expensive that is? A furnace, a hot water tank, washer, dryer, decorations, and I have a basement. Where else do I put those things? I can’t put them in my basement,” Brumert said.
“The last storm we received was just huge,” said Guy Maiorana, Water Pollution Control director.
He says Struthers does not have a system that can deal with a rain like that of July 17. The city has hired a consultant to devise a plan, but ultimately it’s the cost that could delay any repairs.
“Just for us to do modeling on the piping that we want to try to do and the engineering, just to do the design, not put a piece of pipe in the ground, the estimated cost of that is $1.1 million,” Maiorana said.
Ben Bruno lives on Edison Street and says water from businesses on Youngstown-Poland Road flows onto his property. He wanted to know if there were ways to stop it.
“I get water 13-foot wide, almost a food deep, a lot of times coming down my back yard,” Bruno said.
“I had six and a half feet of water in my basement,” said Andrew Young of Fifth Street.
He says that happened 30 years ago because the sanitary system backed up, and he says it’s still backing up today. Young says it shouldn’t happen.
“So why are we getting thousands and thousands and thousands of gallons in a matter of hours in my basement?” he said.
Maiorna says it’s because people have their storm water and sewage draining into the same pipe, and it’s a problem that needs corrected.
Struthers Mayor Cat Cercone-Miller told the crowd the city is looking into grants to help pay for flood control. She also promised to be transparent and keep everyone updated on any developments.
Courtesy of WKBN