CLEARFIELD – A torrential downpour Wednesday afternoon wreaked havoc in parts of Clearfield, downing trees and flooding roadways, homes and so forth.
And some borough residents were left to deal with related flood issues that were worsened by the nearby Stinky Run project.
They made their concerns and displeasure known at Thursday’s Clearfield Borough work session meeting.
Those living near Stinky Run have dealt with this lingering construction project for many years.
Wednesday’s downpour not only brought heavy rain, but also sewage water and garbage into basements, garages, sheds, etc.
Shawn Wilson of Clearfield spoke first, saying he’s replaced multiple furnaces over the years, and the project, which is near his home, has only exasperated the problem.
“The backhoe was digging literally within six inches of my home, literally by the foundation and underneath,” Wilson said. “This is maddening, and it has to be fixed.”
Dennis Traverty first commended Todd Kling, along with the department, for their efforts to help residents. He said he was the first one hit from the run-off from Sticky Run, and he was still dealing with the effects of the sewage.
“It easily was two-feet deep, and it wasn’t water. It was crap,” Traverty said. “I removed about four to five buckets full from my shed, [and] another five from my basement. I showered in Clorox because of the stench, and it’s still in my house.
“I understand what he (Wilson) is going through but, with me, construction is not part of it – it’s Stinky Run. We have to get help from somewhere.”
Borough Engineer Todd Banks sympathized with residents over their agony and frustration. He said Wednesday’s downpour dumped about two inches of rain on the area in 30 minutes.
He also admitted that the existing pipe system in Stinky Run isn’t equipped to handle that kind of rainfall.
“This project has been a nightmare of all nightmares,” Banks said. “When it first started, the borough had $1.3 million allocated, and the estimates we got back were $2.8 million.”
He said the borough has been working to come up with the funding, but it’s not only been a struggle, but a setback as well.
Residents said they understood the project wasn’t under their oversight, but because it’s occurring with their borough, they would like to be more involved.
Concerns were also voiced about accumulated garbage that overflows out of the water filtration system during storm events, such as, on Wednesday.
Once complete, the project will have a “cage-like” filtering system, and also be able to handle a lot more rainfall at one time – almost six times more.
Council Vice Chairman Lewis Duttry was also sympathetic with residents. “I knew this project was going to take a while, but not this long.”
With residents of the Stinky Run area having dealt with these issues for more than a decade, council agreed it needs to be finished.
Traverty also said that the area of 12th Street to Dorey Street has been worn down from all the water. “It’s just a big hole.”
When extra garbage pickup was requested in the affected area, council agreed to provide this service for two weeks.