MILLVALE (KDKA) — With rain in the forecast combined with all the melting snow, residents in low-lying communities across the area are preparing for the potential for flooding.
Millvale is a community that sits along the Allegheny River and Girty’s Run travels through the town.
“It’s always in my mind because of the floods and everything,” said Nicole Craig, a Millvale resident.
A veteran of three floods, Craig is all too familiar with what can happen when snow melt and heavy rain combine. It could happen again over the next 24 to 48 hours.
“Every time it rains hard or the snow melts like this, I don’t know if it’ll cause it, but you always have to keep a look out for it,” Craig said.
Millvale is a place where being prepared for flooding has become a way of life. It’s not in every community where homes are permanently sandbagged, just in case.
“Our work crew has kept the creek clean all summer. We removed any debris, any silt,” said Vincent Cinski, the mayor of Millvale. “We bought a new bobcat; the largest one they make to keep the creek clear.”
Millvale certainly isn’t alone, Little Pine Creek in Etna has flooded so many times that they have a real-time USGS Water Monitor to check the flood stages. Residents can log onto the internet or use their smartphones to get the information.
“If something does happen, we do have an emergency plan to follow,” said Mayor Cinski.
For now, that’s the posture most low-lying communities are taking, you watch the water and if necessary you get moving.
“I’ll be gone,” said Craig. “I just feel bad for the people who have no other choice.”