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Bridgeville cleaning up after destructive flood

| Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 4:15 p.m.
Rescue workers in Bridgeville came equipped with a raft on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.
Megan Guza | Tribune-Review
After being stranded for hours, residents were finally getting out of their homes on Baldwin and Railroad streets in Bridgeville on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.
Megan Guza | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Railroad Street in Bridgeville flooded Wednesday, July 10, 2013.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Residents watch floodwater from McLaughlin Run spread out through Bridgeville on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Rescue workers lower a woman onto a gurney after carrying her through floodwaters at Baldwin and Railroad streets in Bridgeville on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Two men who were stranded outside Valentino's Heavy Truck and Equipment Repair watch flood waters rise after McLaughlin Run overran its banks in Bridgeville on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Dan Cunningham (center) and Frank Tome, both of Bridgeville, clean muck out of the basement of the Owls Club on Baldwin Street in Bridgeville on Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

Bridgeville residents were still cleaning up Friday morning, two days after heavy rains and flash floods inundated the area.

Carol Sikorski and her husband, Tony, were cleaning up the contents of the garage they keep on Baldwin Street.

“It just takes a little elbow grease,” she said. “Every day you chip away at it.”

Sikorski said a computer, DVD player and iPad were lost in the flood waters, which rose above the 3-foot high counter in the garage. The biggest loss, she said, were her family photos.

“Things like that – you can't put a dollar value on,” she said.

Her husband, a sculptor, also lost artwork. Sikorski remained optimistic, though.

“The most important thing is life,” she said. “No one was injured. I think we'll be OK.”

At Tambellini's Restaurant on Railroad Street, a group of volunteers from Christ Bible Church in Cranberry were gathered in the parking lot, wiping down chairs and hosing off mud. At the Beer Warehouse, pallets containing cases of beer were sitting outside the still-wet warehouse, drying.

The areas of Baldwin and Railroad streets were hardest hit after more than two inches of rain pushed McLaughlin Run over its banks and into businesses and homes.

Bridgeville fire Chief Bill Chilleo said the flooding was on par with that of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Flooding started around 8 a.m. last Wednesday, and water began receding by around 10.

More than 10 fire and rescue companies responded to flooding there, where waters from the McLaughlin Run spilled into streets and homes. River rescue teams were also on hand and had to help several people out of the flood waters.

One woman had to be plucked from the water after she was found clinging to the bumper of a tractor trailer parked near the Beer Warehouse at Railroad and Baldwin streets.

Because so many companies responded, officials did not have a final count on injuries and rescues.

Chilleo said the borough was hit much harder than the department had anticipated based on weather reports.

“We didn't expect it to be this bad,” he said.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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