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Allegheny

Millvale community cleaning up following flood

| Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 3:39 p.m.

Millvale continues to clean up following flooding from storms that dumped 3 to 4 inches of rain across northern Allegheny County July 4 and 5, according to the National Weather Service.

Girtys Run, a creek running throughout the borough, overflowed during the storms. Evergreen and North avenues were heavily impacted, Mayor Brian Spoales said.

He is unaware of any injuries due to the situation.

According to him, floods damaged approximately 400 residents’ homes. He said that about 50 volunteers Saturday and 40 Sunday assisted with cleaning others’ houses.

“Everyone has worked their butts off. The town is beginning to get back in shape,” Spoales said.

North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO) and its community partners are providing cleaning supplies, non-perishable food, toiletries and gift cards to assist with flood relief at the Millvale Community Center, 416 Lincoln Ave.

While at the center, residents and business owners should complete disaster assessment forms.

“The information is not only a tool for Millvale emergency management, but it gives us a better chance for receiving county funding,” Spoales said.

He said Team Rubicon, a veteran-based nonprofit specializing in disaster relief, is visiting Millvale Tuesday.

“They watch the national news, and they reach out to communities. They actually have one of their members who lives in Millvale … Their specialty is muck and grime.”

St. Margaret Foundation is opening a free store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, where people impacted by recent floods can get furniture, rugs, fans, dehumidifiers and storage containers.

People may “shop” for the items at Fox Chapel Plaza, at the corner of Fox Chapel and Freeport roads in O’Hara. Plaza owner and former foundation board president Alex Condron has donated the empty storefront space for the relief effort.

St. Margaret Foundation is partnering with O’Hara, NHCO, Fox Chapel Plaza, Fox Chapel Area Online Yardsale Community and others on the philanthropic venture.

Millvale invites people from all municipalities with storm-related damage to attend its “Multi-Agency Resource Center” from 1 to 7 p.m. July 12 at the Millvale Community Center. Proof of residency is requested, said Spoales.

“Individuals will access available resources through participating agencies,” Maria Christina, NHCO Millvale outreach manager said.

“The resource center will help us assess our current state. Our goal is to see where we are and what we need to do.”

Additional participating organizations include: Allegheny County Department of Human Services, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, United Methodists Committee on Relief and Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services.

Christina said leaders will use the information gathered Thursday to plan future volunteer efforts.

“On Thursday when individuals come, that is going to help us assess to see where we are; that helps us. Our goal is to see where we are and what we need to do.”

Since the flood, the Salvation Army spent four days serving meals in the community, said Christina.

Pittsburgh Food Truck Park owners Shawn, Tony and Matt Lang raised more than $2,100 for the borough’s flood relief efforts through in person donations and online crowdsourcing, Spoales said.

The public may contribute to flood relief efforts through the following:

· NHCO is in the greatest need of monetary donations made at nhco.org or by mailing a check to NHCO, 1975 Ferguson Road, Allison Park, PA 15101. Donors may mark “Millvale flood relief” in the subject lines. Other needed items include gift cards to home improvement stores, grocery stores and Target, Walmart or Kmart.

· Donations may be made to St. Margaret Foundation by visiting www.stmargaretfoundation.org and selecting “Flood Relief Fund.”

· NHCO can accept donations of vehicles ruined by flooding as long as the owners have the titles. For more information, visit nhco.org/donate/donate-car.

· Those interested in volunteering for flood relief efforts, should leave messages with NHCO at 412-408-3830, ext. 3218. Christina requests that people are patient while waiting for their assignments and that they do not show up at the Community Center.

“The resilience of these communities - Millvale, Sharpsburg. Fox Chapel, Etna - they have really risen to the occasion, and we are standing beside them,” she said.

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