PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The steady, heavy rain that fell overnight combined with the continually melting snow has many people across the area concerned about the potential for flooding.
The Mon Wharf parking lot is closed today as a precaution. Water begins to flood the parking deck at 18 feet.
Residents living along the Youghiogheny River are also concerned about flooding. Much of the area remains under a flood advisory through Sunday.
KDKA meteorologist Dennis Bowman says that through mid-morning, the Pittsburgh area had close to an inch of rain in addition to runoff from melting snow.
The Ohio River at Pittsburgh is expected to crest at just over 21 feet on Saturday morning. This should result in the flooding of the Mon Wharf, but would be below levels of flooding for the 10th Street Bypass.
Rain will change to snow this afternoon in the Pittsburgh area, but should only leave a coating at best. However, several inches of snow are piling up north of I-80. Watch for icy spots tonight as temperatures fall to about 19 degrees locally.
“I think we’re going to see first the response on streams and creeks that could start as early as overnight tonight,” said Bill Drzal, National Weather Service hydrologist. “Particularly worrisome are some of the areas in Beaver, Butler, over to Armstrong County, possibly Allegheny County where there was eight to 10 inches of snow and there’s probably half to three-quarters of an inch of water still on the ground.”
But today’s rain may not be the biggest problem as another storm, just around the corner, could cause even more issues.
“I think it’ll be a little bit different. The storm as we’re looking at it now will go farther to the north so we may get more rain over the Allegheny basin,” Drzal said. “So, I would look for bigger rises on the Allegheny as opposed to the Monongahela River. So the worry shifts a little bit north but it all goes down the Ohio.”