Crews Sent Out For Rescues, Car Fire In Severe Flooding

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Another day of rain brought more flooding, and flood damage, to the Pittsburgh area Friday afternoon.

Storms caused the National Weather Service to put Allegheny County under another flash flood warning for hours on Friday.

Intense flames billowed from a car trapped in flood water in the northbound lanes of McKnight Road just before Siebert Road around 4 p.m.

Tim Paul watched it unfold.

“Right over here is where cars kept trying to go through,” he said. “One car stalled out, and the people were coaxed out of their vehicle finally, and then it started smoking and then it caught on fire.”

Paul says the family of five was coming from their son’s high school graduation.

Maria Verardi caught the fire on video.

 

Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire and once the flood waters receded, a tow truck took the car away.

Businesses in a nearby shopping plaza got hit the hardest. It was Kayleen Germanich’s first day on the job as manager of Sports Clips.

“Fire crews came in and told us not to open the door,” she said. “Then it go to the point where [the flood water] was so high on the door, we couldn’t even open the door at all.”

At one point, firefighters say around 15 to 20 people had to be rescued from the shopping plaza through a human chain.

“The easiest way for us is we’ll put rescuers out and start walking people back through the flood waters to assist them,” Wes Semple of Berkeley Hills Fire Company said. “We have specialized equipment PFDs, rope that we can use to help get them out of water, so they’re not moved into flood waters.”

“They had a rescue unit, it looked like they had one rescue person, then a victim, then a rescue person, a victim,” Paul said. “It looked like a chain.”

Firefighters say around 40 people were able to get themselves out of their cars without help. About five other cars were stranded and six people needed rescued from the fast moving current. Crews from the Allegheny County Swift Water Team were called in to pull some stranded people from their cars.

“It happened within, like, 15 minutes,” Sami Brozewicz, a manager at a nearby Chipotle, said. “We got a flash flood warning, and then everything started rushing in.”

“It looked like something out of Colorado raging rapids,” Paul said. “It was unbelievable.”

Fortunately, no one was hurt. In fact, no one has been hurt after the flash flooding we faced the past three days.

Some of these local businesses like Sport Clips will have to remain closed until a restoration company comes in to check out the damage and clean the water out of the walls of the building.

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