Rains force shut down of water treatment plant

UNDER WATER — New Cumberland City Park was flooded as a result of the weekend’s heavy and consistent rains. -- Alexis Rufener

CHESTER — City officials continue to assess city streets following periods of heavy rain Sunday and Monday that quickly resulted in partial flooding.

According to Chief John Hissam of the Chester Volunteer Fire Department, there are three primary areas in the city prone to flooding — the Ferry Road entrance, the 3rd Street garden area and Chester City Park. Apartments located along Ferry Road were not affected by the flooding, he said, however, the streets were impassable.

Tuesday marked the second day the city water treatment plant had been shut down, the chief said, adding water levels went down 3 to 4 feet.

“We checked these areas to make sure there was nothing there that was in danger,” Hissam said. “… and once they told us the height of the water, there was going to be no actual damage done to the equipment, but we might not have access to it. That’s what occurred.”

A date was not provided on when the treatment plant will resume normal operation.

On the city’s Facebook page, officials earlier this week posted a request to water customers in Chester and Lawrenceville, asking them to “conserve water until flood waters recede and and we are able to start pumping fresh water and refilling our storage tanks.”

City resident and business owner Sharyn Vinci approached council Monday, expressing concern for the condition of city streets, including the front of her salon, even without the recent flooding.

“On Neptune Avenue, I’m having an issue with water filling the very front of my salon,” she said. “It’s not anywhere else on the street. Everywhere else on the street actually runs into the very front of my salon. After 37 years in the business, nearly 30 years as a salon owner in that exact location, I had someone fall the other day.”

Vinci explained a client had to walk a good distance in order to avoid the puddle of water. She asked council if someone could be sent to assess the puddle situation.

“I plan to work at least for another 10 years, and I’d hate to see someone fall on the street,” Vinci said.

Councilman Steve Shuman said a possible cause to Vinci’s problem is the roots from the trees pushing up the bricks causing the water to collect there.