The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

August 28, 2013

Heavy rain makes mess: Boswell area hammered again

BOSWELL — Water sloshed from under Rosalie Benford’s flip-flops with every step on the maroon carpet in her Ditto Consignment Store on Route 30 in Ferrellton.

The other rooms of her store – some tile, some concrete – were covered in dark mud while puddles of rainwater stood in various parts of the building.

The fans and the dehumidifiers, which had been running nonstop since the last time her business flooded, continued to attempt the impossible task of trying to dry out the building, which is near the bottom of the hill at the intersection with Route 601.

“This is terrible,” Benford said as water gushed out of a hose just outside of her shop.

“This is the fourth time this month I’ve gotten flooded. This water is just terrible. It’s in the back of my store, it’s in the front of my store. It even went in my garage door this time. It’s just filthy and dirty and another endless day. The last time it took us a week to clean. This is worse than the last time.”

That was the consensus on Wednesday – that early morning downpour was the worst storm of the summer for the Boswell area, which has gotten a few of them recently.

A portion of Route 601 was closed and remained underwater on Wednesday morning, and North Star School District canceled classes just a day after beginning its academic year. The road was opened around midafternoon.

“Second day of school – it has to be some kind of record that I’m not proud to hold right now, but our kids are safe and that’s he most important aspect of what we did today,” Superintendent Shawn Kovac said.

Kovac said he got a call early Wednesday warning him that many of the roads in Boswell were closed due to flooding.

He initially called for a two-hour delay, but by about 7:30 a.m. he decided that it was necessary to cancel all classes for the day.

“A Boswell Borough worker told me that he could not promise that they could keep the roads open here in Boswell. I said there was more rain on the way and he said that was what he was worried about,” Kovac said.

“He also was worried about some of the roads being undercut and that if buses went over them they might fall through.

“At that point, I had no option but to cancel school.”

There was some flooding in the North Star Elementary School, but Kovac said that it won’t cause any lasting damage.

“One of our classrooms, the windows are almost at ground level,” he said.

“Apparently it rained so much so fast that it overtook the window and came in. We got it cleaned up. There was no damage, but we are going to have to find a way to seal those windows.”

Kovac said he had to use last year’s database to make the appropriate calls regarding the cancellation because the emergency contact numbers have not yet been updated for this year, but he was confident that he made the right call and that everything went smoothly.

“There were too many variables for me not to close school,” he said.

“I’m not going to put students in harm’s way.”

In Jenner Township, Mike Scherer watched in disgust as a culvert overflowed and washed away the rocks that he had put in front of his garage, spreading them across Short Street into his neighbors’ yards.

“I hauled five tons of shale in this summer and it’s all gone,” he said. “My garage is completely full of mud.”

Just down the block, Keith Fry said that his girlfriend’s newly built garage was covered in mud for the second time this month.

“We just cleaned it up last week from the last one,” said Fry, who is looking for township leaders to come up with a solution to the problem.

“We talked to them last week about addressing this. They said they were going to look into it. Unfortunately, we got another huge rain before they could do something. They’re going to have to figure something out with this.”

Jenner Township Supervisor Jim Henry didn’t have any solutions on Wednesday, as he was just trying to help clean up another mess.

“We had over 3 inches of rain last night, so we had all of the loose dirt that we had just cleaned up from a couple of days ago ... it all came back down,” Henry said.

“The water level in the ground is just higher than normal.”

Eric Knopsnyder is the editor of The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/eric_knopsnyder.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 24, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 24, 2014

  • WilliamsA ‘I thought I was going to die’

    Hornerstown resident Robert “Bobby” Williams said he endured two hours of surgery, suffered a heart attack and fears he may never again be able to fully use his right arm.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 22, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 22, 2014

  • JFD traing Firefighters practice river rescues

    Johnstown Fire Department members lift a “victim” out of the rescue basket during training Wednesday along the Stonycreek River flood-control wall

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • sewer meeting map Sewer work will tie up traffic

    Brace yourselves.
    This summer’s sewer main replacement project will delay traffic with detours, closed streets and lane restrictions through one of Johnstown’s notoriously snarled neighborhoods.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • USS Somerset USS Somerset arrives at San Diego homeport

    The USS Somerset is home.
    The amphibious transport dock ship named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego on Monday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jablonski, Stephen Charges filed in courthouse bomb threat

    A Johnstown man was charged by Ebensburg Borough police Wednesday with threatening to blow up the Cambria County Courthouse, a call he admitted to Ebensburg police he made Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vizza, Peter Vizza voted deputy mayor

    The top vote-getter in last year’s Johnstown City Council election is now also the city’s deputy mayor.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conemaugh Township rezoning opens business possibilities

    A portion of South Main Street in Davidsville will be rezoned to give greater allowances to the businesses along the road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sculptor’s work to be raffled off

    The work of a local sculptor will be raffled off during the Art in Bloom show.

    April 23, 2014

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads