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Allegheny

Thunderstorms wash out sections of the South Hills

Chuck Biedka
| Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 9:57 p.m.
The parking lot of the Trolley Stop Inn in Bethel Park after flash floods wreaked havoc on the area Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
Susan Koeppen/KDKA via Twitter
The parking lot of the Trolley Stop Inn in Bethel Park after flash floods wreaked havoc on the area Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
Storms brought flooding at Route 88 at Kings School Rd. in Bethel Park on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
Bethel Park Emergency Management
Storms brought flooding at Route 88 at Kings School Rd. in Bethel Park on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

Numerous South Hills communities dealt with flash flooding on Wednesday night — including at least 66 rescues — but things were winding down just before midnight.

Allegheny County Emergency Services was scheduled to begin damage assessments Thursday with local municipalities.

Allegheny County released a statement attributed to Deputy Chief Steve Imbarlina that said the rain was moving out of the area at midnight and that the county 911 center's call volume had returned to normal.

Swift water rescue teams made at least 66 rescues.

County officials were not aware of any injuries to responders.

The situation was far different just a few hours earlier.

Bethel Park declared a state of emergency, according to Allegheny County officials.

Allegheny County 911 was so busy with emergency calls just before 10 p.m. that it asked residents not to telephone them unless it was a life-and-death matter.

Allegheny County officials asked the public to follow @allegheny_co on Twitter to get the most up-to-date information.

People trapped in their cars by flooding was a recurring problem Wednesday night.

At 10 p.m., the county sent out an alert:

"We still have vehicles stuck in the water and individuals requiring rescue because they attempted to drive through the water. Drivers should remember to "Turn Around; Don't Drown."

South Hills communities were hit the hardest.

There had been reports of flooding from Pittsburgh to the Washington County line, spokesman Amie Downs said.

"Swiftwater teams are engaged in response throughout the South Hills, and support is also being provided from neighboring Washington County," Downs said. "In addition to flooding and trapped vehicles, there are also reports of trees and wires down, roads closed, and buildings that have been compromised due to the weather."

Downs said the county had been notified for Bethel Park's state of emergency declaration. Dalmatian Drive at Beagle Drive was blocked, a fallen tree blocked Lytle Road and Myrna, Florence and Dorchester drives flooded.

Elsewhere in the county:

• Rescue crews responded to a reported partial collapse of an apartment building in Rankin. Crews were sent to Fifth Avenue at Harriet Street.

• Allegheny River Boulevard at Nadine Road in Penn Hills was flooded just before 10 p.m.

• Normally busy Banksville Road closed at about 10:30 p.m. for about 15 minutes. At one point, dumpsters were seen floating down that road.• Greentree Road had a partial rock and mud slide across it at the bottom of a hill.

• In Crafton, Chartiers Avenue flooded at Morange Road.

County officials credited several swiftwater rescue teams for making rescues:

Allegheny County Swiftwater, SHACOG Swiftwater and Pittsburgh Swiftwater. The county received support from swiftwater teams out of Beaver and Washington counties.

Digital producer Bret Gibson contributed to this report. Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Chuck_Biedka.

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