Downpour strands motorists, cuts power to 4,000 near Pittsburgh
As emergency management officials began assessing damage in 12 Allegheny County municipalities swamped by last week's flooding, another torrential downpour struck on Wednesday, causing even more problems.
Five motorists were trapped in their cars on Boston Hollow Road in Elizabeth Township, where the National Weather Service estimates that 1.86 inches of rain fell on saturated ground in an hour or less.
“We found five cars in the water,” said Glassport fire Chief Wayne Lewis, Mon-Yough river supervisor for the county's Swiftwater/Flood Response Team. “We rescued individuals by boat. All were treated and released (by paramedics.)”
One resident, John Mihaljevich, said flooding on the Youghiogheny River in Boston is the worst that he can remember.
“It's terrible. We never had water in the yard like that in 33 years,” he said.
Flooding and storm damage were reported in a number of other communities — such as McKeesport — that were reeling from thunderstorms, lightning strikes and flooding on Tuesday.
Duquesne Light crews were still working to restore power from the earlier storm, when 4,000 customers lost service, said utility spokesman Joey Vallarian.
The storms erupted as county, federal and state emergency management officials began assessing previous damage to homes, businesses, roads and other infrastructures to determine how much financial aid they may be eligible to receive, said Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs.
The inspections are required to secure aid from Pennsylvania and federal emergency management agencies.
Officials toured parts of Bridgeville, Mt. Oliver, Oakdale, Scott, South Park and Upper St. Clair on Wednesday. They are scheduled to visit Clairton, Elizabeth Borough, Elizabeth Township, Forward, Jefferson Hills and West Elizabeth on Thursday.
Oakmont fire Chief Bill Hartman hoped the agencies would come through with funding to offset extra costs shouldered during the flood response, such as overtime for police and public works employees and trash bin rentals.
“Basically, it's a waiting game now with PEMA and FEMA to see where we go from there,” said Hartman, the borough's emergency management coordinator.
Emergency responders gathered preliminary information on homes and businesses hit by flooding during their initial response, and local and county officials followed up in subsequent days.
In Bridgeville, borough Manager Lori Collins went door to door with county officials last Thursday to ask residents about the extent of damage to each home and business along flood-soaked Baldwin Street.
Matthew Santoni and Pat Cloonan are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Staff writers Aaron Aupperlee, Michael DiVittorio, Liz Zemba, Michael Hasch and photographer Cindy Shegan Keeley contributed to this report.
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.
- $500K grant to fund bike sharing comes through for Pittsburgh
- With Pittsburgh charges, feds target Uganda-based counterfeiting ring
- Motivation in slaying of Penn Hills couple remains unclear
- Strip District merchants say pay stations will drive out shoopers relying on free spots
- Tax exemptions cost Allegheny County governments $620M, auditor general reports
- Pittsburgh Public Schools adopts no-tax-increase budget for 2015
- Newsmaker: Gregory Reed
- PennDOT to begin changing Glenbury Street Friday, part of Route 51/ 88 intersection rehab
- Inspections will force Liberty Bridge lane closures on Friday
- Pennsylvania constables need oversight to reduce problems, officials say
- Portion of Baum Boulevard closed after bricks fall from building