Flood Waters Continue To Cause Damage, Close Roads

It's been a rough week for many local communities

Paul Rasmussen
July 05, 2018 - 11:07 am
Road Closed

Joe DeStio

Categories: 

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Heavy rains prompted flash flooding, landslides and closed roads Thursday morning. In Ross Township, as much as three inches fell in a couple of hours. Shaler, Fox Chapel and Glenshaw were also drenched.

It got urgent for a time.  Allegheny County Emergency Management Chief Matt Brown told KDKA Radio the 911 center was experiencing a high call volume early Thursday and crews were engaged in three swift water rescues and 10 other water related incidents, “and that’s not to mention all the road closures and everything else that’s going on.”

One of those rescues happened Ross. A Port Authority bus became trapped by floodwaters on Babcock Boulevard in and quickly began taking on water. The Swift Water rescue crews helped about 30 people on the bus to safety by having them climb out one of the busses windows. No injuries were reported.

Brown says a normal call volume day for the 911 center is 3,000 calls in Allegheny County, “but the last few days in incidents like we’re dealing with right now, we’ll probably push 4,500 of service for the day as all the first responders in the field that are quite frankly constantly closing roads, providing rescue, accounting for the safety of those folks and a greater majority of Allegheny County, outside the city of Pittsburgh, is volunteered based.”

On the KDKA Radio Morning News, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said we're around 50 percent above normal precipitation for the year...

“In July we normally only get four inches total, and we’re already above that.”

Fitzgerald adds you can tell how rough the weather has been by the number of municipalities making emergency declarations. He says five communities in the south hills made declarations last week, “and now we’ve got a couple over in the northern boroughs with O’Hara and Aspinwall both declaring.”

And that was before Thursday morning’s thunderstorms. Last night's severe weather hit Millvale, Verona, Fox Chapel, O'Hara, Aspinwall and Sharpsburg particularly hard.

Duquesne Light reports around 9,800 power outages as of 10 a.m. The largest numbers are reported in Stanton Heights, the North Side, Sharpsburg and Millvale.

The utility says "all available crews" are working 16-hour shifts. This morning's storms are causing additional outages and flooding is keeping workers from reaching some locations. Duquesne says it expects to restore service to the majority of its customers by tomorrow morning.

First Energy has around 500 customers off line, mostly in Westmoreland and Allegheny County.

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