Allegheny County

Water main break floods ground-level condos, causing damage at Wilkinsburg complex

WILKINSBURG, Pa. — A massive water main break Tuesday morning flooded several ground-level condos at a complex in Wilkinsburg.

Ray Pope was living in one of those units.

“I just had to bust this [glass door], boom, boom, boom,” he said, recounting the crucial moments after water began rushing into his condo.

“I’m lucky to be here right now. I basically had a brush with death,” Pope said.

The Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority main broke around 8:00 a.m. along Trenton Avenue.

Minutes later, Pope says the water shattered the glass on his ground-level patio slider and began filling up his condo.

“It went from just being to my ankles to up here [chest level] in seconds,” he said.

Pope had to act fast. He got out the only way he could, with only his phone and the pajamas on his back.

“Everything was floating, so I took my dining room chair and busted the rest of the window,” he said.

Pope has spent the last 25 years working as a rap artist and studio DJ collecting audio and recording equipment as well as vintage records worth over $30,000.

Now, it’s gone, just like that.

“He put his life into this and to see it all taken away in a blink of an eye, heartbreaking doesn’t describe it,” said Pope’s friend, Tarrick Askew.

Pope has only lived in the condo since December.

He lives in one of the four ground-level units that suffered the brunt of the water damage.

Now, he’s unsure how much his insurance will cover, if anything.

“I need help. We need help. There’s other people that need help, but I caught probably the worst end of the stick,” Pope said.

Pope and some of the other residents are being assisted by the Red Cross.

11 News also spoke to Kefalos & Associates, who help manage some of the condos.

They say they are doing what they can to try to help the residents impacted and find alternative housing.

The management company says the water is back on in the condo complex, but it could be at least another day before gas and electricity are turned back on.

11 News also reached out to the water authority to see what it is doing for the residents, but we have not heard back.

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