Flood Hazard - Borough of Etna

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Flood Hazard

Information on flood proofing, retrofitting and water proofing is available in the lobby of the Municipal Building as well as the Shaler North Hills Library – Etna Flood Information Section.

The National Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is prominently displayed in the lobby of the Municipal Building for viewing by any interested party.  Questions can be directed to the Borough Manager.  You may call 412-781-0569 for additional information.

Flood Hazard: Check Before You Buy

Flooding and other surface drainage problems can occur well away from a river, lake or ocean. If you're looking at a property, it's a good idea to check out the possible flood hazard before you buy. Here's why:

  • The force of moving water or waves can destroy a building.

  • Slow moving flood waters can knock people off their feet or float a car.

  • Even standing water can float a building, collapse basement walls, or buckle a concrete floor.

  • Water soaked contents, such as carpeting, clothing, upholstered furniture, and mattresses may have to be thrown away after a flood.

  • Some items, such as photographs and heirlooms, may never to restored to their original condition.

  • Floodwaters are not clean: floods may carry mud, farm chemicals, road oil, and other noxious substances that cause health hazards.

  • The impact of a flood, cleaning up, making repairs, and the personal losses can cause great stress to you, your family, and your finances.

Floodplain Regulations:

Your community regulates construction and development in the floodplain to ensure that buildings will be protected from flood damage. Filling and similar projects are prohibited in certain areas. Another rule requires houses substantially damaged by fire, flood, or any other cause, to be elevated above the flood level when they are repaired.

Check for the Flood Hazard:

Before you commit yourself to buying a property, do the following:

  • Ask the real estate agent if the property is in a floodplain, if it has ever been flooded, and if it subject to any other hazards, such as sewer backup for subsidence.

  • Ask the seller and the neighbors if the property is in a floodplain, how long they have lived there, if the property has ever been flooded, and if it is subject to any other hazards.

  • Ask the local building, zoning, or engineering department if the property is in a floodplain, if it has ever been flooded, what is the flood depth, velocity, and warning time, if it is subject to any other hazards, and what building or zoning regulations are in effect.

Flood Protection:

A building can be protected from most flood hazards, sometimes at a relatively low cost. New buildings and additions can be elevated above the flood levels. Existing buildings can be protected from shallow floodwaters by re-grading, berms, or floodwalls. There are other retrofitting techniques that can protect a building from surface or surface or subsurface water.

Need Financial Assistance?

If you need help financially to prepare yourself for a flood or to repair flood damage you can consider applying to the Allegheny Home Loan Program (AHILP). The AHILP is the most affordable way for Allegheny County residents to rehabilitate and/or improve their homes. It is sponsored by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and administered by Allegheny County Economic Development (ACED). There are Emergency/Priority loans with 0% interest for code violations or emergency conditions that present health and safety hazards and there is also a general improvement loan available with a very low 1% interest rate. There are also a limited number of grants available for certain code repairs, lead hazard control, accessibility improvements and public sidewalk repairs. For more information, click here

Flood Insurance:

One of the best protection measures for a building with a flood problem is National Flood Insurance, which is purchased through any property insurance agent. If the building is located in a floodplain, flood insurance will be required by most mortgage lenders.

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