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Sunday, July 22, 2012
2012 Flash floods cause widespread damage in US | www.wpxi.com
Several areas in the Channel 11 viewing area were damaged Friday afternoon when heavy rainfall led to flooding.
A slow-moving cold front brought periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
The National Weather Service said gauges have reported rainfall of more than 2 inches per hour, and that's caused flooding of streams and low-lying areas.
Emergency crews said people were pulled from flooded cars in some areas, but no injuries were reported.
“It was terrible. We were down at work and my work said we had to leave so I started to drive north and I was fine. Then my car just stalled out,” Susan Vietmeier said after being rescued from her car.
Heavy flooding was reported in the South Hills. The intersection of routes 51 and 88 and the intersection of Mifflin and Lebanon roads were flooded and closed for several hours. The roads reopened shortly after 4 p.m.
Route 51 remains closed in both directions between Maytide and Saint Norbert streets. Emergency crews were sent to the area to monitor the situation.
“We had two rescues, not by boat, performed in the area of Route 51. One was a gentleman stranded in the water. His condition seems to be fine. The other was a person in a car. I don't have more details other than that,” Director of Public Safety Michael Huss said.
Jim Andeits, who owns A-1 Auto Mart on Route 51, said he saw about five feet of water covering the road and parking lots.
Anthony Miranda was driving along Route 51 when he said he noticed the water level getting higher and higher.
“It started flooding a little bit at a time. Then it came up to my door and I put my window down and it started coming in through the side of the car so I swam out through the window,” Miranda said.
Fifth Avenue in McKeesport was also shut down after reports of flooding there.
“Water just started coming out of the creek and going crazy,” George Massacci, who was in Pittsburgh’s Bon Air neighborhood, said.
There are also reports of flooded streets in North Fayette Township along Mahoney and Oakdale roads.
“It's hard to predict these things because they happen so quickly, but I'm happy with the response we had today,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said.
Meanwhile, officials said Kennywood Amusement Park was closed Friday afternoon due to the severe weather. Those who were in the park at the time received free tickets to come back.