Gate Fails At Scene Of Pittsburgh Flash Floods That Killed 4

May 2, 2017

Pittsburgh public safety officials are trying to determine why a rain-activated gate failed to automatically stop traffic from entering a low-lying roadway where four people died in an August 2011 flash flood.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation installed the $450,000 system in 2012, but it's now operated and maintained by the city. The system uses rain sensors that can trigger three swinging-arm gates and several lighted caution signals meant to keep motorists off Washington Boulevard.

A police patrol car was parked across one entrance to the road when heavy rains and debris caused concerns of flash flooding Monday afternoon.

The system has had problems, including a storm last August when some drivers had to be rescued after the gates didn't deploy during a storm.