Survival Stories Emerge From Tragic Flash Flood
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In the middle of the chaos on Washington Boulevard, there were stories of survival.
Paramedics in boats went to vehicles, plucking people out of nine to 10 feet of water.
“Next thing I know the water is up to the middle of my door,” Marion Marty, of Sarver, said. “You started to see – even a red dump truck floating. I mean, I never saw anything like it before in my life!”
Wrapped in a blanket and soaking wet, Marty shared her story. When the water was about to swallow her car, 911 told her to get on the roof.
“The water was rushing so fast, it kind of just dragged me right out,” she explained. “I hung on to a red truck and then my daughter got taken because it just totally submerged.”
Marty’s daughter managed to help an elderly woman swim to the roof of Amy Lavrich’s van – a vehicle Lavrich had just abandoned.
“Water started coming in my doors and that’s when I knew I was in trouble,” she said. “And 911 said, ‘Well, try to swim for it.’ By the time I got out of the car, it was well over my head.”
Paramedics rescued people clinging to trees, poles and car roofs.
“I had to stand up on the roof, you know, climb out the window,” Bob Bailey, of Homewood, said. “Then they came and got me in the boat.”
Tara Howes, of Gibsonia, believes she may have been next to the people who died in the minivan.
“There’s a guy yelling that there are people in the car and he was trying to help them with – I don’t know if he had pliers or something,” she said. “He was trying to break the window, but he said he couldn’t before the water got too high, so then he climbed into a tree.”
Howes believes that vehicle vanished under the water. An elderly woman remains unaccounted for.