Stormwater Damages Home in Schuylkill County

RUSH TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A woman in Schuylkill County is trying to move into a home that's been in the family for decades, but she and her husband can't because it continues to get hit with water damage. They say that water filters into the property from state-owned pipes.

Christine Disabella says she just wants to start a new chapter of her life and move into her family's home that her mother recently handed over to her. But she says water from those pipes has caused lots of damage.

Even on a bright and sunny day with temperatures in the 80s in Rush Township, water still runs by and around Christine Disabella's home near Tamaqua.

"If it's not raining, you should have no water, so if it hasn't rained since Thursday of last week, why is there still water?" Disabella asked.

Disabella and her neighbors say this is an ongoing problem that's been an issue in the neighborhood for the last 10 to 15 years. It has to do with drainage problems from pipes that run underneath West Main Street.

The water continuously flows from the pipes, through an adjacent property, and into Disabella's home that's been in the family since 1969. Recently, her mother gave her the property. Disabella and her husband want to move in but can't.

"There's just a lot of money that needs to be sunk into this house to even make it livable."

Disabella estimates that she and her husband have put about $20,000 worth of money into the house to fix the water damage. The basement has been flooded several times. The basement walls are weakening, and water has seeped into the electrical box.

Because the pipes run underneath a state road, she says it's up to PennDOT to come up with a solution. A spokesperson with PennDOT says it plans on working with the township to find a fix as quickly as possible.

"My sister said it would rain and it would be like Niagara Falls in the basement. It would just pour into the basement. Neither one of them had the money to do what me and my husband did in the basement. As you see, we did it and it still poured into the walls. I'm kind of at a standstill. We can't do any interior work until the water actually stops."

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