13 years of flooding have some Mount Carmel residents ready for action

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MOUNT CARMEL, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Some homeowners in Mount Carmel say they’re tired of having to pump feet of water out of their basements every time the area gets heavy rain.

Residents claim the recurring issue began more than 10 years ago, and a solution is long overdue.

“I’ve been dealing with this water situation every time a heavy rain comes, it’s been coming through my sewer pipe for years, for 13 plus years I’m trying to get help to get this fixed, this is what I have to go through,” said Mount Carmel President Kenny Higgins.

Kenny Higgins lives on West Fourth Street in Mount Carmel, where he says every heavy rain sends dirty water rushing into his basement and he’s not the only one. Mount Carmel firefighters spent Thursday morning and early afternoon helping several households on Higgins’s block pump water out of their basements.

“We’ve had 16 calls, multiple calls with multiple feet in the basements. We’re doing the best we can with what we have, pumping the basements out, called in township units for support,” said William Rovinsky, Lieutenant 1 at Mount Carmel Fire Department.

Rovinsky says this is just what happens when you have substantial rain in a short amount of time.

“Substantial rain in a short amount of time it has nowhere to go. You’ll have this flooding everywhere, there’s flooding in multiple communities outside the area. The rain has nowhere to go, it will go to the next step and fill up the basements,” said Rovinsky.

Higgins believes it shouldn’t happen this often that if the infrastructure is supposed to prevent this from happening, something must be wrong.

He’s convinced the issue started about 13 years ago. That’s when the Mount Carmel Municipal Authority took on a major upgrade to the sewer and stormwater system in Mount Carmel and Mount Carmel Township.

Higgins says it’s time for someone to take a closer look.

“They need to get bigger sized pipes or get somebody, an engineer, to come in here and redo this whole system because we shouldn’t have to live like this for the rest of our lives. I’m older now and I can’t handle this situation right now,” said Higgins.

Residents and firefighters alike both agree that this is an issue that needs to be resolved quickly.

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