Quick-hitting storm dumps rain on Valley
By Liz Hayes
Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 12:31 a.m.
A thunderstorm dropped more than an inch of rain and caused brief flooding in some parts of the Alle-Kiski Valley on Tuesday afternoon.
New Kensington especially was hit hard, with flooding reported on at least a half-dozen roads about 5:30 p.m.
“It's the annual mid-June canoe races in New Kensington,” joked Ed Saliba Jr., the city's assistant fire chief.
Saliba said the spot flooding occasionally occurs in low-lying areas after heavy summer thunderstorms.
“The storm sewers couldn't take the water and the manhole covers were blown off,” Saliba said.
John Darnley, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service Pittsburgh offices in Moon, said a cold front passing through Western Pennsylvania sparked the storms. Although there was a possibility for hail and lightning, Darnley said rain was the star of the show for the A-K Valley.
“There were some pretty good showers,” Darnley said.
He didn't have a rain total specifically for New Kensington, but he said about 11⁄2 inches of rain fell within an hour about 2 miles west of Vandergrift.
“Any poor drainage areas are going to be affected,” Darnley said of storms dropping that much rain. “If it would have been more persistent, say 2 inches, it could have gone from a flood advisory to a flash flood event.”
The weather service issued a flood advisory that expired at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
In New Kensington, flooding was reported on Stevenson Boulevard (Route 366/56) between Seventh Street and Francis Boulevard across from Valley High School; Freeport Road near Buffalo Bill's Roadhouse and Feldarelli Square and the intersection with Manor Road; on Industrial Boulevard beneath the Ninth Street Bridge; at Seventh Street and Constitution Boulevard; and along Route 56 heading toward Lower Burrell.
“Four of the city's five fire companies were called out,” Saliba said.
He could not confirm a 911 radio transmission that flooding was so intense at the corner of Stevenson Boulevard and Seventh Street that some cars at Advantage Auto Sales were forced into the road.
However, Saliba noted that a large culvert in the car dealership's parking lot carries a large amount of water off the hillside from the city's Mt. Vernon section and under the highway.
Less than a half-hour after the flooding was reported, the only sign it ever occurred along Stevenson Boulevard was a lone city worker clearing a storm grate in front of the city garage.
“It's amazing how fast that happens,” Saliba said. “Thank God nobody got hurt.”
Saliba said many firefighters had been at Memorial Park preparing for New Kensington Community Days, this Friday through Sunday, before the flooding, and several returned there afterward.
They are hoping for a rain-free week to allow for preparations and beautiful weather this weekend to encourage turnout.
They may get their wish: the weather service is predicting sunny skies at least through Friday and high temperatures climbing into the 80s at least through Tuesday. There is a chance of thunderstorms over the weekend.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tax law proves its worth by bringing in lost revenue
- Winfield Road bridge replacement to begin in 2015
- 1 remains in hospital after knife fight in New Kensington apartment
- Battle of Fort Hand 235th anniversary to open window into frontier life
- New Kensington police find stolen handgun, detain 2 juveniles
- Instagram builds Oakmont barber’s rep for innovative cuts, ‘hair tattooing’
- Alle-Kiski Valley economic development group honored for police training
- Boy, 15, charged with trying to rob gas station in Harmar
- Wanted Oakmont man jailed in Nevada
- South Buffalo supervisors to consider shale gas well proposal
- South Buffalo supervisors approve XTO Energy’s drilling plan