PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A mother and her two daughters lost their lives during a flash flood in Pittsburgh Friday afternoon. Another woman who was unaccounted for after the flooding, was located Saturday morning.
The flooding took place between Negley Run and Allegheny River Boulevards around 5 p.m.
The mother has been identified as 46-year-old Kimberly Griffith. Her two daughters, 12-year-old Brenna and 8-year-old Mikaela, were the other two victims.
The three victims were all from Plum Boro and the school district issued a statement on its website Saturday morning.
“We are shocked and saddened by the deaths of two of our students, Brenna and Mikaela Griffith, and their mother, Kimberly Griffith, in the Washington Boulevard Flash Flood on Friday, August 19th.
The Plum Borough School District extends our deepest sympathy to the Griffith family. In the days and weeks to come, we will remain attentive and responsive to the needs that emerge from this tragedy as we attempt to cope with this loss.
Grief counseling will be available for students and their families on Monday, August 22nd and Tuesday, August 23nd at Center Elementary School, Oblock Junior High School, and Plum High School.”
According to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, all three died from asphyxiation due to drowning.
An elderly woman also went missing during the flash flooding.
Her body was found shortly before noon floating along the shoreline about 300 yards downstream from the Highland Park Dam.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper spotted the body while flying in NewsChopper 2.
Authorities have now identified her as 72-year-old Mary Saflin from Oakmont. She was pronounced dead at 12:50 p.m.
Police believe Saflin may have been swept into a storm drain basin and then into the river. According to police, the woman was on the phone with her daughter as the waters began to rise. Her daughter told her to get out of the car. However, police believe the water swept her away as she was getting out of the vehicle.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has issued a statement following the flash flooding tragedy:
“I am deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic flash flooding, and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families of the four victims. I would like to commend public safety officials and residents for their heroic acts that resulted in 11 rescues. We will now turn our efforts to supporting the families affected by the tragedy, and in making sure this never happens again.”