PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Our area has received plenty of rain over the past week. With moving through the area now, flood alerts have been issued.
According to the National Weather Service, a Flood Watch is in effect for much of the area from 8 o’clock this evening through Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve already seen six inches of rain here in the month of June, and we’ve still got another week or so to go, and that’s two and a half inches above average,” said KDKA’s Jon Burnett. “So, we’re well above normal right now.”
An estimated 1 to 1.75 inches of rain could fall, which may cause some urban and small stream flooding.
Because of that, the director of Allegheny County Emergency Services is keeping his staff on alert.
Chief Alvin Henderson put a briefing report out Friday afternoon to police, fire departments, EMS crews and the swift water rescue response team advising them about the weather we are anticipating.
If there is flooding, they will increase staffing at the 911 center. But the timing of the rain poses its own challenges.
“With these storms coming in at night, at lot of times the people, their awareness of these storms is diminished because of the night sky,” said Chief Henderson. “So, it’s a little bit harder to tell the storms coming through at night, and also ponding of the water on the roadways as well.”
Chief Henderson says he cannot stress enough that if a roadway is covered by water, do not try to drive through it, turn around.
Meanwhile, local residents are also preparing for the heavy rains.
At the McKees Point Marina, in McKeesport on Friday night, boater Mike Dowling, of North Huntingdon, was making sure his boat was securely moored to the dock.
Dowling told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “Most of the time, when we know there’s a storm coming, we’ll check our boats to make certain everything is tied up. We look out for each other here.”
In Westmoreland County, the expected heavy rains have resulted in the cancellation of the Ligonier Country Market.
It’s the first time in 40 years that the open-air market, with more than 130 vendors, has had to be cancelled.
The field where the market is usually held is already wet and muddy from nearly six inches of rain in the area so far this month, according the market’s Angela Iezzi.
She said her biggest fear was flash flooding might occur.
Burnett says most of the rain will fall between midnight and noon, tapering off Saturday.
“After that, things start to lighten up a little bit as this line, this slug of moisture gets past us finally, but by then the damage will already be done,” said Burnett. “And Sunday we could see a few more spotty showers to just add to our misery.”
The heaviest rain is expected to arrive after midnight.
“Overnight, flood watch in effect until 5 o’clock [Saturday]. There will likely be updates to that. It may very well go to flood warning status,” said Burnett.
“Potential for one to two inches of rain overnight and early [Saturday], and then another inch during the day [Saturday] and on into Sunday. And it doesn’t stop there.”
A Recreational Boaters Advisory has been issued for the Ohio River in Pittsburgh until Monday morning.
Officials warn of fast currents and debris in the river through Allegheny County.
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