Mon-Yough utilities succumb to big chill
Utility woes were among headaches in Mon-Yough communities on Tuesday as the mercury lingered below zero.
There was a falling power line in McKeesport, a gas leak in Homestead, a water main break in West Mifflin and a flooded hall in Elizabeth.
“We had about 3-5 feet of water inside our club,” Elizabeth Volunteer Fire Co. Capt. Ken Kirschner said.
The club at 107 Market St. was closed on Tuesday because of a frozen water main. Allegheny County officials said it burst around 2 p.m.
“We lost a whole day's revenue,” Kirschner said. “We've called in a plumber to fix it, but the tiles are being lifted up under the floor.”
Kirschner said his department will make an insurance claim.
At Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin, gusts of up to 35 mph combined with temperatures as low as minus-9 degrees to keep the wind-chill index in double-digit negatives. At 2:53 a.m., it was minus-34.
Warming centers are remaining open at the Clairton municipal building and the Steel Valley Salvation Army Worship and Service Center until Wednesday at 4 p.m. Another at the West Mifflin municipal building was to close at 9 a.m.
“Although the centers are listed based on the municipality in which they are located, anyone can utilize the center,” county spokeswoman Amie Downs said. Other centers were at the Palisades in McKeesport and at Munhall's four fire halls.
East Allegheny area emergency management coordinators agreed that it is better for residents to stay home.
“It's safer for people to stay inside than to go to centers,” East McKeesport coordinator Stacy Mays said.
He stressed that the exception would be if there were a power failure, as occurred late on Monday in McKeesport.
“There was a wire down (along the 2500 block of) Versailles Avenue caused by a tree,” Duquesne Light spokesman Joey Vallarian said. “Customers were out for an hour and nine minutes.”
City emergency management coordinator Bill Miller said the outage reached roughly from Packer to Grover streets into Crawford Village and the Grandview area.
“A combination of cold temperatures and wind likely knocked down the lines,” Miller said. “Duquesne Light crews restored power by Tuesday at 1:15 a.m. No one needed evacuated.”
Residents of an apartment building along the 200 block of E. Ninth Avenue in Homestead were taken to the nearby fire hall because of a gas leak on Tuesday at 3:52 p.m. in a third-floor apartment.
“It was a small leak,” fire Chief James Barca said. “We were right across the street and could offer a shelter.”
Equitable crews shut off the gas, which may have leaked from a faulty appliance.
A water main burst on Tuesday morning along Bettis Road in West Mifflin.
“We had a break on a 6-inch main that left approximately 25 customers without service,” Pennsylvania American Water spokesman Gary Lobaugh said.
Service was restored by noon but the road was closed until utility crews filled in a crater formed by the break and county crews salted and removed the ice.
Despite the cold, it was not an unusual day for Pennsylvania American Water.
“We've had six breaks in Allegheny County ... which is a typical day for a service area that includes 1,900 miles of main,” Lobaugh said.
The cold had first responders and emergency rooms on alert, but at UPMC McKeesport officials said there were no weather-related admissions as of late Tuesday.
Most area youngsters have another day of altered school schedules. Some districts first announced two-hour delays for Wednesday but by Tuesday evening a growing number of schools had canceled classes for a second day.
The combination of a frozen pipe at West Mifflin Area High School and fuel line issues for Pennsylvania Coach Lines led to Wednesday's classes being canceled, Superintendent Daniel Castagna said.
The bitter cold affected garbage collection. On Tuesday, Waste Management canceled most residential and some commercial collections.
For the rest of the week, pick-up dates will be one day behind with Friday routes being handled on Saturday.
“We realize this is an inconvenience to our customers, and we would like to thank them for their continued cooperation,” said Waste Management spokeswoman Erika Deyarmin.
“With below-zero temperatures to start the day, and even colder wind chills, it was in the best interest of our employees to keep them inside and off the road.”
Waste Management customers can go online to www.wm.com to see if their service is affected.
White Oak announced a similar delay for garbage collection provided by Republic Services.
Staff Writers Michael DiVittorio and Tim Karan contributed to this story. Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, 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.
- Students’ use of iPads a minefield
- McKeesport Area, South Allegheny districts upgrade school security
- East Allegheny teachers offer district amended contract package
- East Allegheny teachers maintain strike plans
- McKeesport pipemaking plant idling delayed
- Return to classes means it’s time to strike up the bands once again
- Elizabeth Forward School District fosters high-tech culture
- McKeesport police get firsthand look at new crime-fighting tool
- Elizabeth officials combat juvenile problems