More than 3 inches of rain pounded region
Parts of the region were inundated Wednesday evening with more than 3 inches of rain that caused devastating flash flooding, according to the National Weather Service based in Moon Township.
The culprit was two bands of thunderstorms that moved over the same spots — mainly the Ligonier and South Hills areas — starting Wednesday afternoon and lasting through the evening, said meteorologist Lee Hendricks.
Reports of flooding in Westmoreland County started coming in around 3:30 p.m. and Allegheny County started shortly after.
“Those storms moved out and then the next series came in,” Hendricks said.
The following areas saw the heaviest rainfall, according to the service :
• Monroeville with 3.8 inches through 9:40 p.m.
• Heidelberg with 3.64 inches through 9:40 p.m.
• Laurel Mountain with 3.45 inches through 9:08 p.m.
• Brentwood with 3.52 inches through 9:36 p.m.
Other areas, including Bridgeville, Bethel Park, Derry, Jeannette and Latrobe saw more than 2 inches of rain through about 9:30 p.m.
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The bands of storms — referred to as “training thunderstorms” because of their train-like appearance — moved through over several hours, resulting in dozens of water rescues, flooded homes and damaged businesses. Bethel Park declared a state of emergency Wednesday night, according to county officials.
“They tend to track very closely over the same areas,” Hendricks said.
Thursday will be relatively dry, but more storms could move in on Friday.
“There is the potential for more heavy rain associated with those,” he said.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter @byrenatta.