Team saves Elizabeth neighborhood
A swiftwater rescue team came to the aid of Elizabeth residents on Wednesday morning as heavy rains overflowed Fallen Timber Run.
Six families were evacuated from residences along Cemetery, Irwin and Polk streets. One elderly couple refused to leave their Polk Street home, but sent their dog out with firefighters and police for lodging at Riverside Veterinary Hospital in downtown Elizabeth.
Snuffy, a beagle that recently had surgery, was put into a carrier and onto a utility wagon that was used to pull him away from the flooded terrain.
The woman watched as authorities pulled her pup to safety, and swiftwater crews stood in awe as she stood her ground.
“People don't understand,” Glassport Citizens Hose Co. No. 1 Chief Wayne Lewis said. “Never underestimate water. Look around here at all of the damage water can do. Fences, picnic areas, roads — they're gone.”
Lewis, also the Mon-Yough river supervisor for Allegheny County's Swiftwater/Flood Response Team, said crews advised residents of the dangers that come with flooding.
“There was a huge amount of fast-moving water that came through here, and we anticipate there will be more,” he said. “This ground can't take more water.”
Hayley Brown, who will be a senior at Elizabeth Forward when classes resume and has lived in the neighborhood her whole life, was among those evacuated.
“Usually, our basement floods up to the second step at the bottom,” she said. “The creek will get high and water will come up through manholes in the road, but it's never like this. We've never had to leave our home.”
Elizabeth council president Monica Glowinski arrived on scene after waters receded.
“I've been in contact with our borough police all morning,” Glowinski said. “What they described and the pictures they sent — I don't think it portrayed what has happened here. It looks like a river has divided our town.”
Rainwater rushed from a nearby hillside into the creek and onto the roadways. Fast-moving water and debris cracked the roadway and washed away chunks of asphalt.
Elizabeth fire Chief Chad Rager was on scene when Wednesday's first storm began, dropping nearly 2 inches of water during morning rains.
“This area was all clear with the first storm,” Rager said. “When the second storm came through, it was 10 times worse than the first. All of these homes and this whole street were full of water.”
Utility crews and public works staff worked all day to clear debris and secure the scene. With rain holding off for most of the afternoon, Rager was worried that the worst was still on its way.
“They are calling for more storms, and they're supposed to be severe,” he said. “We've got guys designated for this area. They'll be watching it all night.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or email@example.com.
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.
- Vigil at site of homicide remembers slain McKeesport plumber
- McKeesport heritage center event recognizes famous black Mon Valley musicians
- Steel Valley to post teacher, administrator salaries online
- McKeesport Area students share views during Black History Month panel talk
- Work to merge Twin Rivers, Steel Valley councils of governments drags on
- White Oak seeks funds to stabilize road
- Duquesne Elementary School students join the ranks of junior constables
- Duquesne City School District administrators cite student progress
- Crowd demands answers from Steel Valley directors over playoff eligibility controversy
- Hearing delay granted in fatal McKeesport arson case
- Clairton City School District seeks savings in food service management