Flooding

Courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Hurricane Florence could bring an inch or two of rain to the Pittsburgh area early next week after it pummels the Carolinas.

Matt Rourke / AP

Overnight rains triggered flash flooding in parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania on Monday, closing down a heavily traveled interstate and sending water into homes in the mountainous coal regions.

The Wyse Choice / via AP

State officials say the rain that drenched much of Pennsylvania this week is tapering off.

Jacqueline Larma / AP

Five days of relentless downpours have left central Pennsylvania a soggy mess, closing roads and businesses, sending creeks and streams spilling over their banks and requiring rescues and evacuations.

Firefighters helped people escape their flooded neighborhood near Hershey on Wednesday morning, and search crews have not been able to find a woman swept away Monday night while crossing the rain-swollen Conewago Creek near Elizabethtown.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Hill District is now home to a green stormwater infrastructure project at the intersection of Centre and Herron avenues. The system will collect water runoff from the University of Pittsburgh athletic fields and surrounding hills that are elevated higher than the project.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is known for its rivers. But many residents, like 90.5 WESA listener Judith Hoover, aren't sure where the bottom of each of the three lie. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

City officials are acknowledging that representatives from Amazon visited the Steel City last month. Calling it a "real estate" visit, Mayor Bill Peduto said their one-day stopover included lots of questions about the amenities, housing and transit required for an estimated 50,000 employees.

Keith Srakocic / AP

It's not actually spring, but Pittsburgh's warm and rainy winter has made it hard to tell. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh area has broken a monthly rainfall record that dates back to the 19th century.

The National Weather Service said Sunday that the 6.68 inches of rainfall during February at Pittsburgh International Airport breaks the old monthly record of 6.52 inches "set all the way back in 1887."

Allegheny County officials said Sunday that river levels were expected to rise throughout the day, but forecasts for river crests were lowered. Flood watches remained in effect and an approaching cold front is expected to bring high winds.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A landslide in a Pittsburgh neighborhood has destroyed a house, forced the closure of a road and knocked out electricity to adjacent neighborhoods.

The city says the landslide in the Duquesne Heights neighborhood worsened Sunday afternoon, pouring over a retaining wall and closing a section of roadway.

Officials say a house that was evacuated Friday evening "is now destroyed." The city says the owners were able to retrieve some essential belongings on Saturday.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A flood warning is in place in Pittsburgh through Sunday due to predicted heavy rainfall, and residents can expect the flooding to be similar to what happened last weekend.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Stretching roughly from the edge of Panther Hollow to the base of Greenfield Avenue, the neighborhood of Four Mile Run is low-lying and has endured repeated flooding over the last several years.

David J. Phillip / AP

Experts say flat topography, impermeable clay-based soil and building on a low lying coastal plain all contributed to the significant flooding issues in Houston over the past month.

Samuel Brody, professor of Marine Studies at Texas A&M-Galveston, said the city’s rapid expansion and development had a role in making it difficult for water to subside.

“On top of that, [our population is] 6-plus million people and with that, all the roads, rooftops, parking lots, which is pavement, concrete and no water can absorb into the soil,” Brody said.

David J. Phillip / AP

Volunteers and rescue workers from the Pittsburgh area are making their way south to help flood victims in Texas.

City of Pittsburgh

Municipal officials hope to submit a final “green first” plan for dealing with the region’s stormwater management problem to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the end of this year.

The plan relies heavily on green infrastructure, which involves planting trees and restoring the natural water cycle.

Louisiana is entering recovery mode after devastating flooding killed 13 people and damaged at least 60,000 homes across 20 parishes.

But as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told CNN, that process is "going to take many months." He added that even though this flooding was "unprecedented and historic," many are "just now realizing how significant it was."

Devastating floods in southern Louisiana have killed at least six people and pushed tens of thousands from their homes.

As the Two-Way reported Sunday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency over the weekend, describing the flooding as "unprecedented and historic."

Louisiana is under a state of emergency because of a storm system that is expected to exacerbate existing flood conditions.

In a statement, Gov. John Bel Edwards said preparations and efforts to assist saturated areas were well underway:

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

In 1910, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., then one of the nation’s foremost landscape architects, outlined a plan for Pittsburgh. It detailed his thoughts on how city leaders should handle development around Pittsburgh’s major roadways and rail corridors.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr

Saw Mill Run has flooded for decades.

Its watershed association welcomes the community to an outreach event and film screening at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont to spread awareness on common water-related issues and helm conversations a long-term solution.

South Carolina National Guard / Flickr

Brother’s Brother Foundation is continuing to monitor North and South Carolina as the water levels subside from last week’s record flooding.

“We may be involved again.” said Luke Hingson, the group's president. “I think it would be consumable cleaning supplies this time around. There isn’t a real medical emergency other than people need water.”

In August 2011, heavy rains triggered a flash flood on Washington Boulevard in the Highland Park neighborhood, killing four. Kimberly Griffith, 46, and her two daughters, Breanna, 12, and Mikaela, 8, died as the water rose above their car roof. Mary Saflin, 72, was swept away by rising water. City Council is expected Tuesday to approve a settlement for the victims' estates.

The payments total $375,000 for the two families. Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority reached a settlement with the families in July 2014.

daveynin / Flickr

  Three Rivers Regatta revelers were relegated to the land this holiday weekend after the National Weather Service issued a recreational boating advisory warning of high, fast moving water in area rivers, pushing through about four times the normal flow. 

While the Formula One powerboat and other races were canceled, swift moving water has not impacted barge traffic on the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers.

Flooding a Concern Along Icy Pittsburgh-Area Rivers

Mar 3, 2015
Chris Squire / 90.5 WESA

The Allegheny River remains frozen, and there is still ice on the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, though barge traffic is getting through. Now, with rain forecast for the next couple of days the concern turns to flooding.

“There’s always a threat of flooding, particularly when you have ice and when it starts to move it can jam up in narrow valleys or behind bridges and cause water to rise behind the jam very quickly,” said Lewis Kwett, hydraulic engineer with the Pittsburgh division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

County, state and federal teams will finish conducting damage assessments Friday afternoon after flash floods and severe weather plagued the Pittsburgh region.

Alvin Henderson, chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services, said he and his teams are trying to restore a sense of normalcy.

“We’re working as quickly as we can to try to collect this data so we can find out what forms of assistance we’re hopefully going to be able to receive,” he said.

Assessment teams first visited areas hardest hit by the flooding.

Storms Roll Through Pittsburgh Area

Jul 16, 2013

UPDATE: 12:00pm Approximately 250 Duquesne Light customers are without power this morning.  Spokesperson Joey Vallarian said crews are expected to have all service restored this afternoon.

UPDATE: 7:00 am  Approximately 1,400 Duquesne Light customers are without power this morning.  Spokesperson Joey Vallarian said crews are expected to have all service restored this afternoon.

Less than a week after heavy rainstorms triggered flash flooding and power outages, the Pittsburgh area is seeing a repeat with storms rolling through the region.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

UPDATE: 9:47 a.m. Thursday

After heavy rain from storms Wednesday brought flash flooding across the Pittsburgh region, officials are advising that some roadways remain closed Thursday. More details here.

All weather warnings and watches for Allegheny County have expired, and the National Weather Service is forecasting a slight chance of showers for the Pittsburgh region before 11 a.m. Otherwise, Thursday is expected to be mostly cloudy with a high near 77.