Allegheny County Declares Disaster Emergency

Allegheny County today declared a disaster emergency at 4:30 p.m. as a result of the flooding that took place due to several powerful storm systems that passed through the region on Wed., June 17. The County’s declaration is also preemptive due to the possibility of additional heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow.

The declaration was made following comprehensive damage assessments conducted by personnel from the Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. The amount and extent of damage sustained to homes and businesses, as well as the number of municipalities affected, warrants the declaration.

Numerous residences and businesses experienced basement and first-floor flooding, and some structures sustained major damage to their foundations. There was also extensive damage to public property, including roads, bridges, culverts and sewer systems. At this time, eight municipalities have also declared disaster emergencies: Churchill; Forest Hills; North Braddock; Pitcairn; Turtle Creek; White Oak; Wilkins Township; and Wilkinsburg.

The disaster emergency declaration enables the County to take all necessary actions to address storm-related issues, including bypassing standard procurement and contract procedures to hire temporary workers, rent equipment, and purchase supplies and materials if needed. The declaration also positions the County to request resources, assistance and funding from the Commonwealth and federal governments.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh has issued a flash flood watch for Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties from 6:00 p.m. this evening through Saturday afternoon. A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding, which is a very dangerous situation.

Residents should monitor weather forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings or other weather watches or warnings be issued.

The County has also canceled tonight’s concert at the South Park Amphitheater.