Rain hits Penn Hills, Plum ‘unusually hard,’ causing widespread damage
Several streets and businesses in Penn Hills and Plum were affected by flooding after rain pounded the area Sunday and early Monday morning.
“We were hit unusually hard last night,” said Penn Hills EMS Supervisor Diane Fitzhenry.
Nearly three inches of rain fell in many areas in the Pittsburgh region. Water rose quickly, submerging vehicles and leaving roads inaccessible. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for much of the region – including Penn Hills and Plum – through 4 p.m.
The NWS forecasts more rain throughout the day but calls for partly sunny skies Tuesday with a high of 74 degrees.
John Anderson, Plum councilman and parks chair, said damage to the baseball fields along New Texas Road is extensive.
“The fields are a disaster,” he said. “We’ve had a number of big storms over the years, but none of them did the damage that this flash flood did. Fences are torn down, turf is ripped up …”
Anderson said officials haven’t had time to come up with an estimate to repair the fields because they were busy elsewhere in the borough.
Plum Borough officials said “unprecedented” flooding will lead to approximately a week’s worth of repair work.
The borough posted a message on their website Monday that said, “Crews have been out since 10 p.m. (Sunday) and are overwhelmed with clean-up. Many roads are covered with debris, use extreme caution when driving.”
The Red Cross is expected to deliver clean-up kits for those who experienced flooding. The borough urged residents to wait for additional details on how to receive the kits.
The new Monday Market at Plum Creek Park along New Texas Road has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 23 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Plum Football Association’s parking lot along Ross Street due to flooding at the baseball fields and an extended flood warning until 4 p.m. in the area.
All other Monday Markets will be held on Mondays, unless otherwise noted, said Carrie DelRosso, the borough’s public relations consultant.
Marie Bonura of Bonura Cabinets in Plum said that area on Saltsburg Road is prone to flooding but “it’s never been this bad.”
“We had tires, a gas tank … all in our parking lot this morning,” Bonura said as she took a break from sweeping and shoveling mud from the company’s parking lot.
“There was one to two inches inside … it’s totally destroyed,” she said.
Other businesses in the vicinity of the Saltsburg and Monroeville Trestle roads intersection also were affected by flooding.
As of Monday morning, Sandy Creek and Verona roads were restricted to a single lane as crews worked to clear fallen debris.
According to the municipality’s website, Penn Hills Park, Bessemer Field and Milltown Fields are closed due to storm damage and the Dog Park along Jefferson Road is closed “due to muddy conditions.”
According to Tribune-Review news partner WPXI-TV, the Meadows Apartments in Penn Hills along Station Street suffered some property damage, including a knocked-down fence and vehicles that were moved by rushing water.
Universal Road was closed for a time Monday because debris and fallen trees blocked the roadway.
Fitzhenry said no injuries were reported in Penn Hills.
The Exxon gas station and traffic lights at Sandy Creek Road and Allegheny River Boulevard in Penn Hills area had no power.
The McDonald’s along ARB in Verona by the Giant Eagle Plaza was closed due to no power.
Giant Eagle and its plaza shops had power.
There were large ponds and areas of debris along Verona Road in Verona and Penn Hills and Leechburg Road in Plum, but the roads were open.
A portion of Sandy Creek Road in Penn Hills was closed due to flood-related issues and power outages.
PennDOT officials said the following roads in Penn Hills, Plum, Oakmont and Wilkins were still closed or restricted as of Monday night:
- Shoulder restrictions on Lime Hollow Road between Coal Hollow Road and Springdale Drive in Penn Hills;
- Single-lane restriction on Saltsburg Road between Center New Texas Road and Center Hill Road in Plum;
- Old Frankstown Road between Monroeville Trestle and Pierson Run roads in Plum is restricted to a single lane due to a landslide;
- Old Frankstown Road between Hockberg Road and Route 286 in Plum is restricted to a single lane due to a landslide;
- Single-lane restriction on New Texas Road between Boyce Park Road and Rockland Drive in Plum due to a slide;
- Shoulder restriction on Leechburg Road between Unity Trestle Road and Ralph Street in Plum;
- Single-lane restriction on Larimer Avenue between Rodi and Thompson Run road in Wilkins Township.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .