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Storms suspend Three Rivers Regatta activities |

Storms suspend Three Rivers Regatta activities

Bob Bauder
| Friday, August 4, 2017 8:36 a.m
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Greg Foster takes off from the start dock in the F1 Powerboat Finals at the EQT Three Rivers Regatta on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
In this file photo from last August, the winning driver and crew wave at the crowd gathered along Pittsburgh's North Shore after winning the F1 Powerboat Finals at the Three Rivers Regatta. Pittsburgh's streets are expected to be jammed again this weekend, as the Regatta returns. In addition, the Pirates and Steelers are in town, and a number of Downtown streets are closed for repairs.

Three Rivers Regatta organizers suspended activities Friday afternoon as strong storms rolled through the area.

“We expect activities to resume once the storm has moved through the area,” Derek Weber of the regatta’s event management team, LionHeart Event Group, said in a statement.

The annual event got under way at noon with activities in and around Point State Park and on the city’s rivers. Event organizers announced around 1 p.m. that they were canceling hot-air balloon rides for the day because of inclement weather.

The National Weather Service said up to a half-inch of rain fell in some areas through mid-afternoon. A second round of fast-moving storms was expected to hit the Pittsburgh region around 5 p.m.

“Once that passes through we should be in good shape for the rest of the evening,” said Bob Coblentz, meteorologist. “They’re moving quickly, which is good.”

The weather service issued an advisory early Friday that some storms could be severe, with the risk of gusty winds or hail.

Lee Hendricks, another National Weather Service meteorologist, predicted that Friday’s storms would bring cooler weather but favorable river conditions for this weekend’s regatta.

Hendricks said a cold front would follow Friday’s storms, dropping temperatures as low as the upper 50s overnight. Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday were expected to climb only as high as the low 70s, with wind gusts of up to 20 mph.

River conditions should be good for the regatta, which continues through Sunday. River heights around Point State Park are expected to be about 16.5 feet with currents of 1 mph or less. Friday’s storms shouldn’t be enough to cause any rise in either, Hendricks said.

“(If) things got up around 3 mph, people in kayaks aren’t going to be happy,” he said.

Though the Monongahela River is always muddier than the Allegheny, it remained much more noticeable because of rain earlier this week farther up the Monongahela watershed, Hendricks said.

Rain will likely return Sunday night, with up to a 70 percent chance of showers. Monday will also be wet and cool, before the sky clears mid-week.

Matthew Santoni and Ben Schmitt are Tribune-Review staff writers.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, or via Twitter .

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