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With 3 Months Left In The Year, Pittsburgh Has Already Surpassed Average Annual Rainfall

Keith Srakocic
A couple under an umbrella crosses through traffic at an intersection as rain falls along the Boulevard of the Allies during a lunchtime downpour in Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 5, 2007.

Parts of Allegheny County received more than 7 inches of rain over the past few days, according to the National Weather Service. That helped Pittsburgh surpass its average annual rainfall of 38 inches, with this year's total above 40 inches. 

Sunday saw the second highest recorded rainfall in a day in Pittsburgh at 3.73 inches. The most recorded in a 24-hour period, 5.95 inches, came in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan.

Alicia Miller, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Pittssburgh, said the heavy rainfall is the result of Tropical Storm Gordon.

"Gordon made landfall in the Gulf, but then that moisture made it up into the Mississippi Valley and now the Ohio Valley," Miller said. "That's where most of this heavy rain has come from." 

The rain prompted Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to declare a disaster emergency for the county, which allows departments to use all available resources and personnel to remedy damage. The 10th Street Bypass along the Allegheny River downtown remains closed due to flooding, and about 4,000 Duquesne Light customers are still without power.  

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is monitoring flooding in case state resources will have to be used. 

Miller said we can expect a few dry days this week, but relief might be brief -- Hurricane Florence is expected to bring more rain next weekend.

"We're going to have to watch what happens with the remnants of Florence," she said. "Florence is supposed to make landfall near the Carolinas as this point."

Kathleen J. Davis covers news about just about anything at WESA. She’s also the primary reporter and producer of WESA’s weekly series Pittsburgh Tech Report. Kathleen originally hails from the great state of Michigan, and is always available to talk about suburban Detroit and Coney Island diners. She lives in Bloomfield.