ShareThis Page
Home

City makes preparations for Isabel's visit

| Friday, Sept. 19, 2003

More than 150 flights from Pittsburgh International Airport to the East Coast were canceled Thursday because of Hurricane Isabel.

JoAnn Jenny, spokeswoman for the Allegheny County Airport Authority, said 158 flights to the Carolinas, Florida and the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area were canceled.

"We've done some preplanning to avoid (having) people stranded at airports, or aircraft being diverted," she said. "It's safer and easier to keep them home."

She said people can reschedule their flights within seven days without additional fees.

As Hurricane Isabel hit North Carolina yesterday, Allegheny County residents prepared for possible power outages or flooding as the storm's remnants reached Pennsylvania.

"I got myself a half-gallon of milk and when I run out, I'll just turn to beer," said John Cerepani of Arctic Avenue, along the Monongahela River in McKeesport. Cerepani said he wasn't worried by warnings of possible flooding in the area.

"I ain't going crazy worrying about what might happen. Que sera sera," he said.

In flood-prone Hays, Marcy Jefferson said she took her antique dining room chairs to the second floor of her home and planned to stay overnight at her son's house.

"If the house floods, we'll deal with it in the morning," she said.

In Harmar, Bob Seibert worked to avoid a repeat of the $35,000 worth of damage that his business, Seibert's Harbor View Marina, sustained in a 1996 flood. He spent much of yesterday removing docks and ensuring all boats were out of the water.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch until 10 p.m. today for Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Rains could total more than 21/2 inches in less than 12 hours, the Weather Service said, noting that the amount will vary according to the storm system's path and intensity.

Joyce Kunkle, of Veryl Drive near Little Pine Creek in Etna, said she stocked up on food and batteries ahead of the storm. However, representatives of local hardware stores surveyed yesterday by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported no run on storm-related supplies.

Several school districts east and north of Allegheny County canceled or delayed classes in anticipation of the storm. Local school officials said they were waiting to see whether the storm would be severe enough to warrant similar action.

Officials from the Plum, Baldwin-Whitehall, Hampton, North Hills, McKeesport, Pittsburgh and Riverview school districts said they will use their usual means -- phone chains, Web sites, local media and messages on district answering machines -- to notify the public of any cancellations or delays. Athletic directors from North Hills and Seneca Valley arranged to play their football game on Saturday if weather keeps the teams from playing each other tonight.

Allegheny County officials said they have 10,000 sandbags that can be distributed to any community needing them, with access to another 10,000 sandbags if necessary. Emergency coordinators said Elizabeth, Braddock and McKeesport are most susceptible to flooding.

City of Pittsburgh Public Works Department and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority have cleared debris from catch basins to prevent flooding of the sewer system.

Duquesne Light and Allegheny Power spokesmen said the utilities increased staffing and kept maintenance workers on alert in case of outages.

Port Authority of Allegheny County planned to run a regular schedule today but spokesman Bob Grove warned that some routes might be altered if roads are flooded.

Staff writers George Aspiotes, Elizabeth Barczack, Brandon Keat, Maggi Newhouse and Karen Roebuck and Valley News Dispatch writer Rob Amen contributed to this report.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me