River levels on the Allegheny River were the highest seen since March 16, 2007, at these locations:
Peak Friday: 21 feet
2007: 21.4 feet
Flood stage: 21
Peak Friday: 20.1 feet
2007: 20.5 feet
Flood stage: 21 feet
Peak Friday: 19.4 feet
2007: 19.2 feet
Flood stage: 19 feet
Source: National Weather Service, Pittsburgh
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Updated 9 minutes ago
Water was creeping up to Tina Creevey's Freeport home all day Friday.
She saw water coming up from Buffalo Creek toward her Cherry Way mobile home when her boyfriend, Greg Beighley, left for work around 4:30 a.m.
Then a call came a couple hours later that his car better be moved.
“I wasn't really aware it was that bad, that it had come up that fast,” she said Friday evening.
According to the National Weather Service, a combination of heavy rain north of Pittsburgh and snow melt pushed the Allegheny River to near or over flood stage in several locations.
The service put out a tweet that river levels were the highest seen at Mosgrove, Kittanning, and Natrona since March 2007.
There was minimal flooding in several Armstrong County communities, said William Hamilton, hazmat coordinator for the county's emergency management agency. River Road in South Buffalo was flooded and closed at one point, and fire departments were handling a few minor instances of basement flooding.
Gene Stephens, chief of Kittanning Hose Co. No. 1, said a couple of church basements were flooded by back flow from the river through the sewers. He said there was no major damage.
“Our river here in Kittanning stayed probably a good, almost a foot below flood stage,” he said. “They were predicting it to go 2 to 3 inches over flood stage. ... Thank God Mother Nature took care of herself and she kept it down. We're all happy.”
A flood warning had been issued Thursday night for the Allegheny River dam between Harmar and Plum.
It was set to expire Saturday morning.
At 3 p.m. Friday, the river was at 17.4 feet, over the flood stage of 17 feet, National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Green said. About 90 minutes later, the river had fallen to 17.2 feet.
While the weather service said minor flooding was occurring, fire and emergency officials covering Springdale, Cheswick and Harmar said they had no reports of flooding.
There was concern about the chance for basement flooding in New Kensington, which the service said begins at 17.7 feet.
New Kensington Assistant Fire Chief Ed Saliba Jr. said his department had no reports of flooding or damage. He said the only call he heard locally was that the river had come up over its bank in Lower Burrell, where water was licking Lowe Road.
“We were in pretty good shape, thank God,” Saliba said.
Freeport fire Chief Jeff Weaver said one borough home had about an inch of water in its basement when Buffalo Creek backed up into its yard.
“For a Friday the 13th, I think everything went well with the amount of rain we got (Thursday),” Weaver said.
“Another inch of rain: we would've been talking something different.”
While Creevey said her boyfriend's Ford Mustang had to be moved, their home of two years in Freeport was not damaged.
“We were good. We rode this one out,” she said. “It got a little worrisome, but the river crested before we had any damage or any water inside. We were lucky.”
She said a man lives in a travel trailer on their property; it was moved out of the water's reach. She guessed it got 3 to 4 feet deep across their property, which hadn't been significantly flooded since 2004.
“We were like an island for a little while,” she said. “Hopefully, it will clear out sometime (Saturday).”
When the crest reached Sharpsburg, the river was expected to top out just short of 18 feet, below the 21-foot flood stage, Green said.
The river did get high enough to flood the 10th Street Bypass in downtown Pittsburgh. PennDOT said it was closed in both directions, and traffic would be detoured.
Staff writer Madasyn Czebiniak contributed to this report. Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701 or at [email protected]
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