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Environment & Energy

Will Pittsburgh Dodge the Hurricane Sandy Flooding Bullet?

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According to the National Weather Service and the Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District, Pittsburgh may not be hit too hard by the megastorm brewing over the East Coast.  National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Hendricks said, however, the 2.5 to 4.5 inches of rain expected may flood streams and creeks, so people should monitor those nearby.  Leaves already on the ground, plus those falling in the rain and wind, may clog storm drains, and high winds can make hazardous projectiles out of things like lawn furniture or garbage cans.

However, the Army Corps of Engineers says the major rivers might be kept in check.  The sixteen flood damage reduction reservoirs have storage available, and the ground has been able to absorb much of the rain so far.

Hendricks said, "Conditions in Pittsburgh could rise to the point where we have to close the Mon Parking Wharf due to flooding, but it doesn't look like we're going to have any serious flooding issues at this time...it's not looking like the 'Bathtub' will be affected--or the 10th Street Bypass."

Heavy snow is expected only at elevations above 2500 ft., according to Hendricks:  Preston and Tucker Counties in northern West Virginia, as well as Garrett County, Maryland and in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania around Somerset.

Spokesperson Jeff Hawk says teams from the Army Corps of Engineer's Pittsburgh District have deployed to help provide emergency power from 200 pre-positioned generators to hospitals, 911 centers and other critical infrastructure on the East Coast, should they need emergency power.