Thursday, August 20, 2015

Monday rain, winds take toll

From ThisWeek News Johnstown Independent 


Sunday August 16, 2015 5:32 PM

The thunderstorm that rolled through the village of Johnstown Monday afternoon, Aug. 10, took its toll on the village and the employees of the water and sewer department.

"We were already very busy and the storm just compounded the problem," said Jack Liggett, Johnstown's service director.

"When water is backing up in our storm sewers, that obviously becomes our top priority."

Liggett estimated that from Monday to Wednesday more than 75 man hours were spent trying to repair the damage the storm had caused.

At least 10 streets and highways -- including U.S. Route 62, state Route 37, North Main Street, Ridgeview Drive and Concord Crossing Drive -- were flooded, village officials said.

Liggett said his crews spent all day Tuesday and Wednesday cleaning out storm sewers filled with dirt, sand, grit and leaves that had been washed into them by the heavy rains.

Village Manager Jim Lenner said the storm sewers were also overwhelmed with so much water they could not keep up.

"Once the storm sewers tops were cleaned off, we could only wait as the water receded from the streets," he said in an email.

"We received many calls about water in the yards of residents, but we did all we could to get rid of the water as fast as possible," Lenner said.

He said they were reports of basements flooding.

"Our wastewater plant was flooded as well," Lenner said.

"I do not believe the village property received any significant damage," he said.

Water and sewer department officials, aware of the village's aging storm sewers, this summer repaired lines along East College and Pratt streets.

"Those sewers handled the water fine," Liggett said. "Our repairs really paid off."

In addition to flooding streets, the storm also damaged trees and power lines.

AEP was called because a tree was reportedly leaning on powerlines in Hannah's Park, 143 W. Maple St., Liggett said.

"It was quite an impactful day," he said. "It was such a large rain event for us."

Before the storm, Liggett said, crews were cutting grass in the park and painting crosswalks in preparation for the first day of school.