Washington Blvd. Flood Gates Tested In Anticipation Of Potential Harvey Remnants

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HIGHLAND PARK (KDKA) — We may see a little rain from the remnants of Harvey, but crews aren’t taking any chances.

The flood gates along Washington Boulevard in Highland Park were tested Thursday.

The departments of Public Safety and Public Works shut down the road between Negley Run and Allegheny River Boulevard at 4 a.m. and spent 45 minutes testing out the flood gates.

“There were two lights burned out that we have to replace on one of the gates, but everything went well,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said.

Since May, the last time a test was completed, crews have made some modifications to the system. They’ve added light indicators and voltage meters in the boxes that supply power to the gates.

The changes will let crews driving by determine whether the system is functioning properly. Also, a camera in the area was adjusted.

“We’ve also re-positioned a camera down to monitor the road where the water usually ponds,” Public Safety technology manager Dan Shak said, “so the Public Safety personnel is also a little proactive on monitoring the situation and able to see it from that aspect.”

The system will be tested on a quarterly basis in the future.

“Going forward, we’re just going to monitor the system, ensuring that the power is staying stable, that we don’t have any voltage spikes,” Shak said. “We are doing proactive evaluations of the power grid down here just to ensure that during any type of storm or anything that the power stays stable.”

And while the gates are in place to save lives, Public Safety officials say drivers need to play it safe during a storm or heavy rains.

“Even if the gates are not down and you see high water anywhere throughout the city or throughout the region, you should turn around and not drown,” Hissrich said.

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