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Fox Chapel

St. Margaret Foundation opens free store for flood victims

Tawnya Panizzi
| Friday, July 6, 2018, 2:57 p.m.
Workers clear Main Street in Sharpsburg, Pa., of mud and debris from the flash floods of the night before on July 3, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Workers clear Main Street in Sharpsburg, Pa., of mud and debris from the flash floods of the night before on July 3, 2018.

St. Margaret Foundation will open a free store next week where people impacted by recent floods can get furniture, rugs, fans, dehumidifiers and storage containers.

Items will be available 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 empty storefront space for the relief effort.

“When most people were celebrating the independence of our country this week, many residents of the Fox Chapel area were baling out their basements and first floors, hoping they would be able to spend the night in their houses,” foundation President Mary Lee Gannon said.

Donations will be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 7-8.

The site will be open for drop-off and pick-up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 9, 11, 13 and 14.

No clothes, toys, shoes or holiday decorations will be accepted.

Storms began July 2 and reoccurred throughout the week, some dropping as much as 3.65 inches of rain over a 48-hour period, according to National Weather Service meteorologist John Darnley. Emergency responders reported water climbing hip-high along several local roads, including Squaw Run and Field Club roads in O'Hara.

The basement of Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church saw three feet of water and Blawnox Swiftwater Chief George McBriar said water rose eight feet in basements along Margery Drive in lower O'Hara.

“Floods caused many people to lose everything in their basements and first floors,” Gannon said. “That includes appliances, furniture and a livable environment.”

St. Margaret Foundation is partnering with O'Hara, North Hills Community Outreach, Fox Chapel Plaza, Fox Chapel Area Online Yardsale Community and other volunteers to bring relief to those most impacted by the disaster.

Gannon said many people reached out to her organization to donate to crisis relief.

“People in our community have lost the freedom of a safe and healthy home,” she said.

“We have to fill in that gap.”

For more, contact FCAreaFloodRelief@gmail.com or visit StMargaretFoundation.org.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or @tawnyatrib.

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