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Flooding, wind damage join welcomed rain

| Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2002

The storms that rolled through parts of the region Monday afternoon brought some much-needed rain for lawns and gardens as well as some minor flooding and wind damage.

More than 16,000 Duquesne Light Co. and Allegheny Power customers lost service because of the storm. All power was expected to be restored by late last night, utility spokespersons said.

There was a report of several motorists being trapped in their vehicles by high water on Streets Run Road in Baldwin Borough, but there were no injuries and everyone got out safely, emergency officials said.

Guy Costa, director of Public Works for the city, said high waters also forced officials to close the intersection of Mifflin and Lebanon roads in Hays during the evening rush hour.

The National Weather Service reported basement flooding in Monaca, Beaver County; basement and road flooding near Zelienople in Butler County; and flooding along Rochester Road in New Sewickley Township, Beaver County. Minor flooding also was reported in Conway and Brighton Township in Beaver County, emergency officials said.

Water was reported to be a foot deep on at least one Harmarville roadway. Water also covered Allegheny Boulevard in Verona where 2 1 / 4 inches of rain fell, said Terry Parrish, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Moon Township.

"The rain was quite spotty," Parrish said. "We only got {7/100}ths of an inch here."

Between 2 and 3 inches of rain fell in parts of Westmoreland County, he said, and between 1 and 2 inches fell in parts of southern Butler County.

Heavy rains also were reported in Aspinwall, Blawnox, Braddock Hills, Cheswick, McKeeport, Liberty, Versailles, West Homestead and Whitaker.

Costa said Streets Run nearly overflowed its banks along Clara Street, but the waters receded quickly. One small bridge in the area was flooded for a short time, he said.

Winds downed numerous trees between Level Green and Harrison City in Westmoreland County. Numerous trees also were downed between Realton and South Greensburg, and in Homewood and Hays.

Some 10,000 Duquesne Light Co. customers lost their power during the storm, company spokesman Joe Balaban said. About 4,000 customers in Richland Township and neighboring communities lost power for about 12 minutes, he said.

Outages also were reported in Mt. Lebanon, Bellevue, McKeesport, Baldwin Borough, Munhall, West Homestead and the Arlington and South Side areas of Pittsburgh.

"We had trees falling on wires and wires down. There was no one single, large outage," Balaban said.

Sonia Miller of Allegheny Power said some 5,500 customers were without power, mainly in Washington and Westmoreland counties and a couple hundred in Butler County.

"There was nothing extraordinary," she said.

Lightning strikes were reported at houses in Pittsburgh and Murrysville, emergency dispatchers said, but there was no immediate indication of major damage.

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