PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Parts of some major roads in the Pittsburgh area were closed well into Thursday morning after heavy, slow-moving rains caused flash flooding.
On Route 51 near Whited Street, heavy construction equipment was used to scrape away mud and debris overnight. That part of the road was closed for much of the night, but reopened around 4 a.m.
Another closed section of Route 51, near the intersection with Route 88, also reopened early Wednesday morning.
Becks Run Road remained closed early Thursday morning between Agnew Street and Wagner Avenue due to damage from Wednesday’s flooding. A Pittsburgh Police officer said chunks of blacktop the size of small cars were torn from the roadway. The raging water was so destructive that considerable repair work will be needed to fix the roadway.
Further up Becks Run, right at the city limits, the road dips quite a bit. That’s where a driver had to be rescued as waters rose around him and his car began to sink. Another motorist saw what was happening and helped that driver escape from the vehicle.
KDKA’s Kym Gable Reports:
Neither of the drivers were injured. A submerged road sign, just peeking out from the flooding shows about five feet of water came up.
Wednesday’s storms also brought down a tree and some wires onto West Liberty Avenue. The road was closed between Cape May and Brookside Avenues.
The heavy rainfall also triggered new landslides. In Pittsburgh’s Overbrook neighborhood, mud and debris came down onto part of Glenbury Street. Barricades were blocking the street between Seldon and Kohen Streets.
KDKA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Verszyla said Wednesday’s rain was localized, so not everyone saw it, but the areas that did – like the South Hills, parts of the city and points east – were deluged.
“An area of rain that developed rather quickly and just didn’t move much over the course of a couple of hours put down anywhere from one to two inches of rain over a rather small area,” said Verszyla.
Along Route 51 near Bausman Road, a fire truck became stuck in the water there, and a dumpster was lifted up from a nearby parking lot. The fast-moving, powerful flood waters managed to carrying to with ease down the street.
WEB EXTRA: Route 51 Flooding:
And then, also along Route 51 at Greenlee Street in Brentwood, a portion of the road was shut down as water gushed up from the sewers and collected on the roadway. A vehicle got stuck there as well, but no injuries were reported at that location.
The flooding caused gridlock in many places in the South Hills, especially in that Route 51 corridor.
Library Road and Killarney Drive in Castle Shannon were also flooded. In Whitehall, a landslide was reported on Weyman Road. Maytide Street in Overbrook looked like the raging rapids instead of a roadway.
In addition to roadways, the storms also caused problems along the Port Authority T lines.
Here’s a bit of what our crews are dealing with tonight on the Blue Line. pic.twitter.com/rsromxTwnH
— Port Authority PGH (@PGHtransit) May 17, 2018
The good news is, Verszyla says the rain will continue to taper off over the next couple of hours.
“Still some rain showers out there, though they’ve lightened up in intensity and they’ve started to taper off in terms of moving a bit more further to the east,” he said. “It is expected that that trend will continue and showers will be tapering off over the next couple of hours.”