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State Of Emergency Declared In Harmony, Butler Co.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Paul Martino Paul Martino
Paul joined KDKA-TV in 1984 as a general assignment reporter and later...
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HARMONY (KDKA) — After record rainfall in western Pennsylvania Tuesday, several neighborhoods are experiencing flooding due to overflowing creeks.

A state of emergency was declared in two towns in Butler County today as a result of the rising waters of the Connoquenessing Creek.

The creek can be a peaceful body of water for fishing and canoeing. But when a heavy rain hits, it can become a destructive force for the people who live nearby.

There are many homes in Harmony engulfed in the creek waters. Residents are busy pumping out their basements and tracking damages.

Harmony resident Tom Launer can only watch as the Connoquenessing Creek waters swirl around his home. He cannot get to it by boat because the current is too fast.

“You live by a creek, that’s what you get,” Launer said. “It makes you sick, but it’s, you know, an act of God. What are you going to do?”

Waters have stranded people in their homes, turned backyards into lakes, and in nearby Zelienople, they’ve engulfed a business park. Employees’ cars are halfway covered by water in the parking lot.

At midday, the flood waters continued to rise. They turned some Zelienople neighborhoods into islands.

Despite all of the damages, inconveniences and costs, people like Launer say they still won’t move away from the creek.

“Love my creek,” Launer laughed. “In the summertime, it’s nice down here, and in the fall, you can’t beat it. Best fishing in Pennsylvania, I think.”

Pittsburgh has seen flooding like this before. Six years ago, the remnants of Hurricane Ivan dumped huge amounts of rain and caused much worse flooding than what Pittsburgh residents are experiencing today.

But that does not matter tonight, as Harmony residents continue to pump out their basements.

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