PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Soaking rains turned to snow early Sunday and concerns over rising waters continue to grow across the area.
Crews were bracing for more flooding Sunday night, while local residents were preparing for a longer commute to work Monday morning.
PennDOT started putting up barricades around 9 p.m. Sunday because, as expected, rising waters from the Allegheny River were creeping up over the 10th Street Bypass.
PennDOT officially closed the road around 9:30 p.m. The low-lying area starts flooding when the river hits 22 feet.
Heavy rains, along with warm temperatures and melting snow, have all combined to make the scenario a familiar one.
“We’ve had an inch to two inches of rain across a broad area,” said Bill Drzal, of the National Weather Service. “It’s a large area to get that much rain in, but it’s not unheard of. It is our flood season.”
Not to be outdone, the Monongahela River was slowly rising, and the Mon Wharf parking lot was underwater late Sunday too. It will likely be out of commission most, if not all of this week, because of the high water followed by the clean up expected later.
Plus, more rain could come later this week.
“So far we’ve dodged a bullet,” added Drzal. “We haven’t had any really big floods but flood season certainly isn’t over and we are in a wet pattern.”
You might have noticed that the rivers seem to be higher than normal this year and the Army Corps. of Engineers says there is an explanation for that development.
“They’re forecasting another storm Wednesday or Thursday; so that’s kind of contributing to the higher water levels, ‘cause our reservoirs – in order to open up storage to collect water from the next storm – we have to remove the water that’s in there and that’s why residents are seeing the high water,” Dan Jones, of the Army Corps. of Engineers, said.