Public Safety
12:12 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Officials Hope to Finish Flood Damage Assessments Today

County, state and federal teams will finish conducting damage assessments Friday afternoon after flash floods and severe weather plagued the Pittsburgh region.

Alvin Henderson, chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services, said he and his teams are trying to restore a sense of normalcy.

“We’re working as quickly as we can to try to collect this data so we can find out what forms of assistance we’re hopefully going to be able to receive,” he said.

Assessment teams first visited areas hardest hit by the flooding.

On Wednesday, teams examined parts of Mount Oliver, Upper St. Clair, Bridgeville, South Park, Scott and Oakdale. And on Thursday, the teams continued their effort in Clairton, Elizabeth Borough, Elizabeth Township, West Elizabeth Borough and Jefferson Hills.

Henderson said “compound storms” have made the recovery process difficult.

“We’re having these pop-up thunderstorms that provide us with heavy downpours and flash flooding,” Henderson said. “Because they’re happened so frequently, it’s not allowed the municipalities, let alone the county, public works and PennDOT, to have all the areas cleaned up.”

Flooding Wednesday afternoon in Allegheny County led to swift water recovery teams being deployed. Five people in Elizabeth Township were rescued from their cars as flood water rose.

Henderson said once all of the damage information is collected and cycled through the emergency management agencies at the state and federal level, a disaster recovery center will be opened in Allegheny County. The center would operate as a “one-stop shop” where residents and businesses could apply for aid, according to Henderson.  

Personnel from the Allegheny County Emergency Services, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation all conducted damage assessments.

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