Some Pittsburgh environmental groups are trying to undo a legacy of neglect by prioritizing projects in underserved communities
When Betty Foster-Pinkley’s mom passed away in 2010, she took over responsibility for the family house in the East Hills.
The house she and her six siblings grew up in is at the very bottom of Dornbush Street. With a slope of 32%, Dornbush is the second steepest street in Pittsburgh and the eighth steepest in the entire country. During Pittsburgh’s record rainfalls in 2018 and 2019, rainwater flooded Foster-Pinkley’s basement. Her water heater, furnace, air conditioners and some mementos from her children and grandchildren were damaged. She had to pay about $3,000 for replacements and repairs out of her own pocket because it was a natural flood, not a broken pipe that her home insurance would cover.
The flooding was so bad, she said, it flooded a nearby apartment building and knocked over a wall.