Some residents of Clare Drive in South Strabane Township remained closed off from their homes Wednesday after part of the road collapsed earlier in the week.
However, Tuesday’s evacuation was not a mandatory one, and some residents elected to stay.
“We advised the residents of the issue at hand so they were informed and could make their decision on what to do,” said South Strabane fire Chief Scott Reese.
Jennie and Clarence Reeger were some of the few who decided not to evacuate. The said they chose to stay and take care of their dogs.
“If it wasn’t for the animals, we’d be out of here,” Clarence said.
They said the township offered to pay for a hotel, but accommodations could not be made for their pets.
Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she stayed home for the same reason.
Residents who did evacuate either went to hotels or made other arrangements, according to Township Manager Brandon Stanick.
“The township is going to help them as much as we can,” Stanick said.
While PennDOT and South Strabane Township continue to rebuild the road, officials are allowing residents through on a case by case basis, but it is not clear when there will be a lane officially open for traffic.
Scott Faieta, an assistant construction engineer with PennDOT, said the goal was to have the lane open Wednesday.
“That’s likely not going to happen,” Faieta said.
It could open today, but more rainfall Wednesday evening may complicate matters.
“It would delay us a couple more days,” Faieta said.
According to an update posted Wednesday afternoon on the township’s Facebook page, crews working at the scene Wednesday made “significant progress in stabilizing” the roadway. The post states that a single lane will be open for emergency services, and that the police department will be on site overnight, Wednesday to today, for “safety purposes.”
“At this point in time, it is anticipated that two lanes will be reestablished on Clare Drive before tomorrow evening,” the post reads.