BUTLER (KDKA) – First the rain, then the flooding and finally the mud. It all made for a long night and an early morning in the City of Butler. Streets looked more like rivers and some cars and trucks were filled with water.

Once the water receded, thick heavy mud could be seen all across Butler, and it created problems for many of the residents.

Butler Mayor Tom Donaldson declared a state of emergency for the city and hopes the state will make a disaster declaration to trigger grant money for cleaning up.

“These people have been hurt bad. You get flood insurance. Well then you find out what it doesn’t pay for. I talked to several residents. First thing they said they told me was when they called their insurance agent the were told what it wasn’t going to cover,” said Butler Mayor Tom Donaldson.

The Red Cross is handing out water, food, and food cleanup kits.

Starting Friday, dumpsters will be available for city residents in the flood area. They will be at the following locations:

  • West Diamond Street by swinging bridge
  • Hayes Avenue by Shiloh Baptist Church
  • Battery Warehouse parking lot
  • Miller Avenue at the entrance to Memorial Park
  • Broad Street Elementary School main entrance

“My whole basement flooded everywhere, up to the ceiling and then I had to drain it,” one woman said. “We had to swim in it to get to the drain.”

There weren’t any reports of injuries in the flooding, though several people had to be rescued. At one point, crews used rafts to get people to shallow water. Others chose to raise their shorts and walk through it.

“You could row the boat last night. It looked like a river down Pittsburgh,” said Kayla Lortie.

(Photo Credit: Brian Grystar/KDKA)

At the Huddle Lounge on West Cunningham Street, patrons say the water came through the front door.

“It came really fast,” said Dan Saeler. “Within a half hour, 45 minutes, the water was in the parking lot. Next thing you know, the water was coming in the doors.”

Jack McKenna said he walked outside his door to try to save his car.

He told KDKA’s Lisa Washington, “The water was half-way up my chest and within an hour it had started receding and was down a couple of feet, within an hour and a half, I could see my yard again.”

(Photo Credit: Brian Grystar/KDKA)

“The lights came on and now nothing works,” Daryl Butler said about his car that was parked outside his home.

PennDOT and Public Works crews spent the early morning hours clearing the streets. Once daylight appeared, firefighters were using hoses to wash away mud, while residents pumped their flooded basements and business owners scraped and shoveled the messy mud.

Butler County Emergency Management is asking residents who need shelter and other essentials to call 211.

To be put on a list for basement pumping residents can call the Butler City Fire Department directly at 724-283-3100.

The Red Cross shelter is located at 241 N. Main Street at the First English Lutheran Church.

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Lisa Washington