MILLVALE (KDKA) — As traffic made its way along Route 28 Thursday, crews continued cleanup following flash flooding that stranded a vehicle on the busy roadway yesterday evening.
As the heavy rain came down on Wednesday, the water began cascading down the hillside above Route 28. The drains just couldn’t handle all of that rain water and debris.READ MORE: New Plaza At Hazelwood Green Set To Open With Public Celebration
PennDOT crews estimate about three-feet of water ponded on the road after rushing down the Troy Hill hillside. It brought with it sticks, mud, leaves and other debris.
More than 60 PennDOT crews worked through the night to clear debris from storm drains across the area.
“It was just the sheer amount of rain and how fast it fell that caused a massive amount of runoff including debris,” said Lorie Musto, PennDot’s Head of Maintenance for Allegheny County.
The floodwaters partially submerged one car, trapping two people and their service dog.
The Pittsburgh Swift Water Rescue Team jumped into action. It’s a team made up of police, firefighters and paramedics along with Millvale first responders.
They brought in their boats for the rescue and both people and the dog were not injured.
First responders say flooding of that magnitude doesn’t happen often on Route 28.
KDKA asked Musto: “Has 28 ever flooded like last night?”
“Not like we saw last night,” said Musto.
Musto didn’t sleep at all and said she kept her daylight crews extra late and brought her overnight crews in several hours early. She said they kept busy with Rt. 28 flooding, McKnight Road flooding and the downed wires and utility poles that blocked traffic along I-79 for hours causing miles of traffic backups.
“We’ve never had that issue on Route 28 southbound. It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced it. The Jersey barrier on 28 likely held some of the water back in the southbound lane,” Pittsburgh Paramedic Crew Chief Greg Tersine.READ MORE: Lane Restrictions, Detour In Effect For The Weekend On I-376 In Moon Township
“We could hear the water actually making noise, said Michael Betkowski.
Betkowski lives up above Rt. 28 on Liedertafel Way. He experienced the cascading water on the Troy Hill hillside firsthand.
A big drain pipe runs down his backyard and he says its caving in his hillside.
“About a month ago we had a good hard rain and the pipe had actually let go,” said Betkowski. “I had water down in my basement and everything- mud all through the house.”
He sent us a picture of the runoff water that transformed his concrete steps into a waterfall. He brought us to the top of hill hillside along Straubs Lane.
“There’s like a four and a half foot sidewalk until you get to here,” he said, referencing the large drop-off.
“And this all washing out because of this water [and] with more rain coming its really got me scared.”
Betkowski said he called Mayor Bill Peduto’s complaint line and left a message. He was told that his message would be passed along to Pittsburgh Sewer and Water Authority.
He said his yard backs up into Reserve Township, but he said they told him to call the city to fix the pipe and drainage problem.
Both lanes of 28 reopened overnight; and thankfully, there only was one stranded car stuck in the waters.
PennDOT crews continue going up and down the busy roadways and clearing the drains.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Dropping Temperatures, Rain Chances
Stay with KDKA for Meghan Schiller’s full report on this story at 5 and 6 p.m.