OAKDALE, Pa. (KDKA) – Oakdale was hit hard by the remnants of Ida as Robinson Run Creek spilled out of its banks.
Early Wednesday morning, residents say there was 4 feet of water in the street after North Branch Robinson Run and Robinson Run creeks overflowed on Noblestown Road and Clinton Avenue. It left a lot of mud and debris, but firefighters from the Oakdale Volunteer Fire Department made quick work of that.READ MORE: Hershey’s Mini Bars Rank As The Top-Selling Halloween Candy In Pa.
When KDKA arrived on the scene Wednesday, firefighters were ankle-deep in the water cleaning out the storm sewer drains so the water levels would recede.
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It came after spending the day helping residents and businesses try to clean up and get back on their feet. Several stores and shops were flooded and owners and workers were busying trying to rid them of water and mud.
Homes up and down Noblestown Road were also flooded and folks put their sump pumps on overdrive. Michelle Franchek’s basement, sideyard and backyard were completely underwater. Things weren’t as bad as the flooding caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 but folks say Ida came close.
“I actually have sump pumps in the basement. I have three pumps going and I still have a foot of water,” she said. “This kind of rivals the 2004 flood we went through and I was hoping it would never happen again.”
“Clean up the mud off the street, assist any homeowners pumping out their basements and clean out our fire hall, it was flooded also,” said Oakdale Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Hartman.
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Many residents stepped up with local firefighters to help clean up when the floodwater receded. People grabbed shovels and got to work at businesses that sustained flood damage.
“Third-generation business, this is the third time in 17 years that we went through this. But it’s something you have to deal with,” said Ron Watters, owner of Ron Watters Automotive. “Once the water started getting on the street it was in no time, it started coming in the buildings and between the mud and everything, 20 inches of water can do a lot of damage.”READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Cloudy Conditions Ahead Of Overnight Storm Chances
“There’s like 8 feet of water in the basement. So we lost the boiler, the hot water tanks, and then we got some floor damage up here,” said Jeremy Kleemook, who owns a building that houses Studio Elle and apartments.
This poor, scared raccoon is exhausted after escaping flooding in Oakdale Borough. This is on Clinton Avenue. Firefighters, businesses, and residents are cleaning up here and on Noblestown Road. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/SsLEgwx3Ie
— Jessica Guay (@JessicaGuayTV) September 1, 2021
People weren’t the only ones affected. A scared raccoon escaped the floodwater early Wednesday morning and didn’t move from the top step outside of Erie Insurance on Clinton Avenue all day.
“It looked like a lake,” said Thomas Taraba, who has lived in Oakdale for 30 years.
Oakdale Borough posted on its Facebook page, “The waters have subsided, and your Community needs you! If willing and available, please report to the Fire Station to help our residents and businesses clean up from today’s events.”
Business owners said all this assistance will help businesses and residents bounce back like they always do.
“Everyone has been real helpful, the fire department, anything you need, they’re here to help,” said Kleemook.MORE NEWS: Many People Left Waiting For Payments From IRS For Tax Refunds, Stimulus Checks, Child Tax Credits
No injuries were reported.