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Valley News Dispatch

Gilpin residents, officials on alert for both Allegheny and Kiski river flooding

Chuck Biedka
| Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, 2:06 p.m.
A flood warning has been issued for areas along the Kiski River as ice there and on the Allegheny River are causing river levels to rise.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
A flood warning has been issued for areas along the Kiski River as ice there and on the Allegheny River are causing river levels to rise.
Much of the Kiski River near Gilpin and Leechburg is frozen, causing concern in low-lying parts of Gilpin that water levels could rise and cause flooding.
Jason Bridge | Trib Total Media
Much of the Kiski River near Gilpin and Leechburg is frozen, causing concern in low-lying parts of Gilpin that water levels could rise and cause flooding.

Joe Sabot's family is so concerned about the Kiski River's rising waters that his wife and two children temporarily moved in with relatives.

“It's only me and the dog at this point,” he said Wednesday.

Sabot has been working to move belongings from his garage under his Banfield Road house to prevent flood damage.

“I took out about as much as I can,” he said. “I hope the insurance will help.”

The Kiski River is the “highest I've seen in the eight years we have been here,” Sabot said.

Gilpin officials also are watching water levels in both the Allegheny and Kiski rivers, because two neighborhoods have been threatened by flooding.

In addition to Banfield Road, Godfrey Landing along the Allegheny River is being threatened.

Residents there watched the river level rise quickly Tuesday night.

Township emergency officials prepared an alter­nate evacuation route through the nearby Alle­gheny Technologies property if flooding began.

Numerous Banfield Road residents moved their vehicles to higher ground as a precaution.

“I moved mine to a friend's house,” Sabot said.

At 8 a.m., Wednesday, the Kiski River level approached Banfield Road but it soon started to go down, according to township Emergency Services Coordinator Morey Scitticatt.

Police, fire and emergency services staff also continue to check Godfrey Landing, off Godfrey Road, along the Allegheny.

“The river went up rapidly and there was some flooding, but the water receded,” police Chief Lee Shumaker said.

Scitticatt said there is ice on both rivers, but it is flowing.

Sabot said the Kiski near Banfield Road “appears to be about a foot and a half to two feet from going over the road.”

Officials will pay close attention this weekend, when temperatures could reach into the 50s and melt snow and ice.

“There is the potential for flooding,” Scitticatt said.

Earlier this month, about a dozen Banfield Road residents coped with a waterline break.

“It's was no water then and too much water now,” Sabot said. “And this weekend it could be kind of bad.”

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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