Washington Blvd. Concerns Grow As Hurricane Irene Nears

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Days after flash floods claimed the lives of four people in Highland Park, comes a new threat of heavy rain.

Hurricane Irene is closing in on the United States and its rains could reach western Pennsylvania by the weekend.

Pittsburgh officials are already looking ahead to come up with a plan to prevent last Friday’s tragic events from happening again.

“If we have to close down a road, perhaps prematurely, or perhaps unnecessarily, there’s a good chance we might do that just so that we prevent what happened on Friday and that may be an inconvenience to a lot of people, but so be it,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said.

Public Safety Director Michael Huss said if the upcoming weekend storm is as bad as predicted, Washington Boulevard will have to be closed until a better plan is in place.

“The answer in my mind as the mayor said is to get the road closed sooner and shut the traffic off,” Huss said.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said rebuilding Washington Boulevard is “something to look at,” as the city looks for solutions to the problem.

However, no final plans are in place yet.

Local engineers met on Monday to discuss the issue. Ravenstahl was not necessarily satisfied with explanations from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and Alcosan. He wants more information from both agencies.

Meantime, the mayor answered critics regarding his whereabouts during the flooding.

“If I could have stopped the rain I certainly would’ve, but I don’t know that my location at the time of the rain on Friday would have changed anything,” Ravenstahl said. He explained that he spent the weekend with his son.


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One Comment

  1. newsman says:

    Get all the news trucks out there like you did for frozen Fallowfield Ave…..KD got great shots of cars sliding out of control and wrecking…

  2. Chippy55 says:

    Back in the 70s under Mayor Pete Flaherty angry calls to his office concerning ginormous potholes dotting the landscape resulted in typical Democratic fashion, blame someone else. So signs were erected that read “State Maintained Road”, which stopped the phones from ringing but did not improve the state of the roads or decrease the amount of business of local service stations. Perhaps the Mayor can take the easy way out and simply erect a sign which reads “Travel at Your Own Risk”. You can wait until a Conservative is elected (good luck) but that is not likely any time soon as Allegheny County is a firmly BLUE island surrounded by a sea of RED.
    My suggestion: Immediately erect road signs stating “Flash Flood Zone, Closed During Heavy Rains”, and then install hand-operated traffic control barriers with booths at either end, man them any time there is a threat of rain, and cancel plans for any pie in the sky projects such as a new subway which by my estimation would easily pay for the suggestions not to mention saving lives.

  3. Shy S Falling says:

    How about the public, don’t they have some responsibility? It just flooded a month before, I wouldn’t go down there during a storm, would you” My solution: Big sign and flashing light: DANGER FLOODING POSSIBLE DURING HEAVY RAIN: TRAVEL AT YOUR OWN RISK

  4. Critter says:

    There is NO chance of it reaching western pa. idiots.

  5. giggers says:

    True critter. No precipt west of Altoona. But i guess to the media, that is close to Washington Blvd.

  6. CJ says:

    Critter and giggers — great that you have such concrete information on the storms path! You need to call the Weather Channel with this info as not even they are able to forcast the storm’s eventual path with such 100% accuracy!

Comments are closed.

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