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PITTTSBURGH (KDKA) – It was the last thing the Pittsburgh Area needed, another round of rain.
The floodgates remained down on Washington Boulevard in Highland Park between Negley Run Boulevard and Allegheny River Boulevard. There were some minor landslides Thursday afternoon on Allegheny River Boulevard, but traffic is now running smoothly there.
But there is no traffic running on Washington Boulevard because of new concerns of trees collapsing because of the saturated ground.
There have been chronic problems with Washington Boulevard’s floodgate system since they were installed after four people drowned in flash flooding on the roadway in 2011.
There are hills on both sides of the low lying boulevard.
It’s not only the floodgates that stop people from driving on the road when there’s a flood threat, but wooden barricades as well are used as a backup.
Lisa Washington’s Report:
The floodgates came down and the barricades were put up Wednesday night because of the heavy rains, but even after the water receded and the road was cleared of mud and debris, there was another dilemma.
Guy Costa, the Chief of Operations for the City of Pittsburgh, said “what we have now is when we were preparing to reopen Washington Boulevard (on Thursday), a tree came down and brought some wires with it, as well as a light pole. So, we have a crew removing the light pole and wires so we are going in to remove some trees.”
The Zone 5 Police Station was not immune from the latest round of flooding Wednesday night and the cleanup from that flooding mess continued all day Thursday.
The ground has become something like a sponge. And, it can only hold just so much water. Officials are worried about what might happen in the coming days after the rain finally comes to an end.
“In the area where this tree has fallen, the trees continue to move, so we have some serious concerns about the area,” Costa said. “So again, Washington Boulevard will be closed until further notice. We want to make sure we take all the precautions. Plus we got a lot of heavy rain. We know it’s an inconvenience for folks, but we are going on the error of safety.”