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Weather service issues flood watch for low-lying areas in Allegheny County

Mary Ann Thomas
| Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, 2:27 p.m.
Floodwaters rise along Parsonage Street on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in East Deer.
Jack Fordyce | Tribune-Review
Floodwaters rise along Parsonage Street on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in East Deer.
A utility worker responds to flooding on Parsonage Street in East Deer on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018.
Jack Fordyce | Tribune-Review
A utility worker responds to flooding on Parsonage Street in East Deer on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for low-lying areas in Allegheny County lasting until 8:15 p.m. Saturday.

The flood watch serves as a warning for localized flooding in low-lying areas throughout the county, especially near a river, creek or stream, according to John Darnley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon Township.

Ice jams along the Allegheny River have caused flooding of tributaries and some shoreline areas of the river north of Kittanning and south to Harmar.

Residents potentially affected are asked to keep a watchful eye on their surroundings for any water buildup.

Communities hit by flooding Friday night and Saturday include sections of East Deer, Freeport, Tarentum, Mosgrove, Kittanning and the Natrona section of Harrison, according to Darnley.

Police have evacuated some residents from those areas.

“The rainfall and the runoff, along with the snow on top of it, has created drainage problems,” he said.

“The low-lying areas are susceptible to flooding not only from streams but general drainage issues can vary by homes and locations,” he added.

The flooding was easing early Saturday afternoon in some areas, according to Darnley.

“We're not expecting any more precipitation, and the cold temperatures on Saturday night and Sunday will refreeze the ice sheets on the river,” he said.

Temperatures are expected to dip to 5 degrees Saturday night in Allegheny County and surrounding areas. Sunday's high is forecast to be 15 degrees.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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