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Roads reopen but flood watch returns for Western Pennsylvania

| Thursday, May 17, 2018, 5:30 a.m.
Numerous roads in the South Hills are closed because of flooding on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
Courtesy of WPXI-TV
Numerous roads in the South Hills are closed because of flooding on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

Hard work around the region reopened some of the roads closed by Wednesday night's flash flooding in time for Thursday morning's commute, though parts of the region remain under a flood watch.

An Allegheny County 911 supervisor said Route 51 reopened early Thursday morning, hours after Saw Mill Run overflowed its banks and covered parts of the roadway between the West End Bridge and the Baldwin/Whitehall line.

Tribune-Review news partner WPXI-TV reported that Route 88/Library Road in the area of McNeilly Road in Overbrook didn't reopen until about 5:30 a.m. because of debris left behind by flooding. Crews were still working to clean and repair parts of Beck's Run Road that had been flooded or washed out.

Service on the Port Authority of Allegheny County's South Busway and Blue Line light rail were suspended between 7:30 and 7:45 Wednesday evening by flooding and debris. The busway reopened at about 10:30 p.m., and spokesman Adam Brandolph said the Blue Line reopened by 3 a.m. so the day's first trains were able to enter service on time.

"We sincerely apologize to any riders who were inconvenienced last night, and want to thank both our employees who spent the night removing mud and debris this morning, and to the first responders who closed roads and helped keep everyone safe last night," Brandolph said.

Westmoreland County 911 also said all county roads closed by flooding had reopened Thursday. Flash flooding in Westmoreland County wasn't as severe as it was in Allegheny County's South Hills, but flash flooding hit areas including Sewickley Township, Sutersville and South Huntingdon.

The National Weather Service in Moon said a flood watch would go back into effect at 8 a.m. until Friday evening for parts of the region, including Westmoreland, Somerset, Fayette and Greene counties, where another inch to 2 inches of rain could fall over the next few days, said meteorologist Pat Herald.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, or on Twitter @msantoni.

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