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Mon Wharf closed because of potential flooding

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Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 2:33 p.m.
 

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority closed the Mon Wharf parking lot Downtown on Friday because of potential flooding from the combination of heavy rain overnight and warm temperatures forecast through the weekend that is hastening a late-February snow melt.

The decision temporarily to close the 458-space lot prompted the typical chorus of retorts on social media about its tendency, according to Pittsburgh lore anyway, to close at the first sign of flooding.

“I could dump a bucket outside my front steps in the South Hills and somehow the Mon Wharf would flood,” one post to Twitter said. Another Twitter user opined, “There should just be updates when the Mon Wharf is OPEN.”

Does the Mon Wharf close that often? And when?

Parking Authority records for 2013 and 2012 show the lot closed infrequently — less than two weeks out of the year if all the closings were combined — and that most of the closures occurred in the first three months of the year.

In 2012, the lot had five full closures and eight partial closures, mostly in January and March, records show.

In 2013, the lot fully closed 12 times — four times in January, seven times in February (Feb. 1-8) and once in December. A water main break on Fort Pitt Boulevard and Wood Street caused two of the 2013 closings in early January, records show.

The high temperature on Saturday is forecast to reach 55 degrees, but a chance of snow and a high of 39 degrees are predicted for Sunday. Parking Authority officials said they have not determined if the Mon Wharf will remain closed beyond Friday.

A National Weather Service flood advisory is in effect for the Ohio River until Sunday afternoon.

Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or jboren@tribweb.com.

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