On June 17, the Turtle Creek community learned -- once again -- that addressing chronic flood problems requires a comprehensive approach. This reality is no surprise to the many residents and business owners who have endured the physical, emotional and fiscal heartache caused by severe flood damage. Effective responses require the concerted, cooperative effort of all community stakeholders: elected leaders, business owners, nonprofit organizations and the residents of Turtle Creek watershed.
Only through watershed-wide cooperation and coordination can we address the root diseases that threaten lives and property. Short-term, fragmentary approaches to flood damage reduction place "Band-Aids" on deeper problems.
You may ask yourself: Why should we cooperate with other municipalities? What's in it for us?
The watershed inextricably links all Turtle Creek communities. By ignoring its connected nature, we may create more floods and more damage for residents and businesses in low-lying areas -- recovery costs that are paid for by your tax dollars.
In September 2008, Congress authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to study the entire Turtle Creek watershed. Without evaluating the problems threatening your communities, we cannot pursue meaningful remedies that will help protect lives and property.
In response to recent flood events, the corps has conducted meetings with town councils and residents across Turtle Creek. We want to work in partnership with you to implement measures to reduce the flood risk and enhance public health and safety.
COL. MICHAEL P. CRALL
Pittsburgh District Engineer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers