Dozens of homes evacuated amid flooding in Tarentum, East Deer, Freeport
More than 40 homes in Tarentum, East Deer and Freeport were evacuated early Saturday because of flooding from ice jams on the Allegheny River and its tributaries.
The river ice jams caused two creeks in East Deer to back up and flood about 20 homes on Parsonage, Grant and Oliver streets and other areas where water was lapping up to 7 feet in basements, close to reaching the first floor of those homes, said Jack Bailie, chief of the East Deer Township Volunteer Hose Company.
Those roads were underwater Saturday afternoon.
Firefighters had to carry a few elderly residents out of their homes in the icy waters, he said.
The displaced residents are staying with relatives and friends.
They cannot return to their homes, where the gas and electricity were shut off Saturday afternoon until the water recedes, Bailie said.
As of 4 p.m. Saturday, the water had not yet receded.
In Tarentum, areas along the Allegheny River and Bull Creek flooded Saturday.
Tarentum police asked residents in the Davidson Street area to voluntarily evacuate because of the steadily rising water levels of Bull Creek.
Other areas where there were flooding issues in the borough include sections of Mill and Creek streets and lower East 10th Avenue, said Deputy Chief Brad James of Eureka Fire and Rescue.
The number of residents who voluntarily evacuated was not available at press time.
More than 20 households were asked to voluntarily evacuate from homes along Old Mill Road, First Street, lower High Street, Market Street and other areas early Saturday morning, Mayor James E. Swartz said.
“Once we saw the water receding, we knew we were out of the woods,” he said. “But it was a long, cold night.”
Neighboring firefighters assisted Freeport's volunteer fire department in alerting and evacuating residents, Swartz added.
Buffalo Creek jumped the banks in a number of sections of the town, he said.
Residents were returning to their homes Saturday afternoon.
Some Allegheny River locks north of Harrison have flooded and are frozen, said Ian McKelvey, supervisory operations specialist of the Allegheny River for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The corps plans to have crews on site next week to get the locks operating again, he said.
The worst of the flooding was likely over Saturday afternoon, said McKelvey and John Darnley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon Township.
Ice jams on the Allegheny also caused flooding of local creeks in Kittanning, Mosgrove, Harmar and the Natrona section of Harrison, Darnley said.