Ohio Township Family Devastated By Flooding Say Officials Are To Blame

Joanna Doven's home suffered nearly $100,000 in damage

Marty Griffin and Wendy Bell
July 12, 2019 - 5:00 pm

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Thursday’s massive and wide-spread flooding took many people by surprise, flooding roads businesses and homes.

One Ohio Township resident’s home was one of the hardest hit but she doesn’t live on a flood plain.

The windows on Joanna Doven’s home did little to hold back the massive water flow into her newly remodeled basement and while she understands Thursday’s weather was really bad, she blames the township.

Doven tells Marty Griffin her family found out that the township installed a storm drain that dumps into their and surrounding home’s yards.

“So the contractor 13 years ago, they dug ditches, they call them swales, a fancy word for a ditch and they got the plans approved by the township to say hey we don’t have to dig any pipes for storm water we can just do this ditch,” said Doven.

The water that drains into her yard comes from about 150 homes above them.

Doven adds there has been flooding in her area because of that ditch for years now but it has never been this bad

The township manager and planner told Doven once the rainwater is in their property, it becomes their problem.

Like many people, Doven does not have flood insurance because they don’t live on a flood plain and she adds that there isn’t a company that would insure them once they saw the drainage ditch.

Doven says when the water broke the glass she was speechless and didn’t know what to do to get the water to stop. She adds that luckily her kids who are normally in the basement playing at that time were at a baseball camp.

Doven, who is out nearly $100,000 says she and her neighbors will continue to put pressure on the township until action is taken.