Waters still on the rise in Allegheny County
Emergency officials warned the area’s waterways are still on the rise even as the weekend’s rain dispersed Monday afternoon.
“Waters will continue to rise before they recede,” Allegheny County Emergency Services Chief Matt Brown told reporters.
More than 6 inches of rain fell over the weekend, saturating soil, flooding basements and roads and downing electrical wires and trees, Brown said.
He said the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers haven’t reached expected crests. The National Weather Service on Monday evening extended a flood warning to 5 a.m. Tuesday. Areas that should expect flooding are Pittsburgh, Mt. Lebanon, Monroeville, Greensburg, Indiana, Jeannette, Penn Hills, Bethel Park, McMurray, McKeesport, Uniontown and Latrobe, according to the weather service.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald issued a disaster emergency declaration shortly after noon to free up more resources to respond to areas damaged by water and landslides.
Pitcairn, Munhall, White Oak, Glassport and Dravosburg all made disaster declarations Monday, as well, and the municipalities are just starting to perform damage assessments, including private property assessments, Brown said.
Brown discouraged people from attempting to drive through pools on the roads. No injuries have been reported from the flooding, but the county’s water rescue team has been active, he said.
Eight residents have been evacuated from Elizabeth Township, and landslides have been reported in West Mifflin, Homestead, Lincoln borough, McKeesport, Pittsburgh, Whitaker and O’Hara Township, he said. So far, the worst appears to be in Liberty, he said.
The worst of Tropical Storm Gordon’s downpour traveled south of Allegheny County, slamming into Westmoreland County with more force, Brown said. He encouraged people to take precautions ahead of another expected storm next weekend.
Failing roof drains have caused some of the damage people have reported, Brown said. He encourages people to make sure water has a clear route of travel off their property.
The disaster declaration is the county’s fourth this year, Brown said. Before this year, the county hadn’t issued a disaster declaration since 2012, he said.
The county surpassed 40 inches of rain for the year over the weekend, exceeding the annual average of 38.19 inches.
Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Wes at 412-380-5676, [email protected] or via Twitter @wesventeicher.