Allegheny County issues countywide disaster to help with flood cleanup
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald declared a countywide disaster to help communities, especially in the South Hills, recover from flood damage after a deluge of more than three inches of rain hit the area June 20.
The declaration, issued Wednesday, authorized county agencies to use all available resources and personnel necessary to deal with the magnitude and severity of the emergency situation, according to a news release.
After touring the hardest hit areas over the weekend, Fitzgerald said “the devastation is substantial” and it will cost millions of dollars to remedy it.
“This emergency declaration is just one step in trying to provide relief to our residents, business owners and municipalities,” Fitzgerald said in the release.
The declaration has been shared with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
The hardest hit areas were the South Hills and around Ligonier. Wendy Abbott, 64, of Upper St. Clair was killed in the flooding, and her body was recovered the next day from McLaughlin Run in Bridgeville.
People are still cleaning up from the flooding. Fitzgerald said the disaster declaration, along with others already issued by municipalities, will speed up the effort.
Regulations such as bid and contract procedures are waived for the duration of the declaration.
Allegheny County Emergency Services officials asked for the declaration. They have been working with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to coordinate recovery efforts.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4715 or [email protected].