CBS Local/Pittsburgh — Preparations are already underway in Pittsburgh as the potential for significant flooding increases.
According to a city press release, more than three inches of rain are expected over the weekend. The heaviest rains will occur Friday night and late Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Much of the area remains under a Flood Watch through Sunday evening.
On Thursday, Mayor Bill Peduto said the flooding could be the the worst in the area since remnants of Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004.
We are preparing for severe flooding. Worst since Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Conservative estimates have Ohio River cresting Sunday night at 26 ft – could be more. Road surfaces/potholes will be washed away. Numerous landslides expected. https://t.co/odnTgkPei3
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) February 22, 2018
According to the National Weather Service, the Ohio River is expected to crest at 26.5 feet by 7 p.m. Sunday. Flood stage for the river is at 25 feet, which is expected to be reached Sunday afternoon.
City officials are already closing part of the bike lanes on Penn Avenue between Sixth and Stanwix streets.
“This will allow Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal (PACT), which has tunnels vulnerable to flooding, to stage a pump in one of its vaults,” the release said.
Should that pump be activated, Fort Duquesne Boulevard between Sixth and Stanwix streets may also be closed.
Meanwhile, the 10th Street Bypass is already closed. It is possible that flooding could close the “bathtub” section of Interstate 376, River Avenue on the North Shore and Washington Boulevard.
Pittsburgh Public Safety is:
- Readying EMS, Fire and Police flood response units and swift water rescue teams
- Preparing pumps and generators
- Preparing to open its Emergency Operations Center, in conjunction with Allegheny County Emergency Services
Pittsburgh Department of Public Works is:
- Clearing debris from roadway catch basins
- Acting on standby to help DOMI and other agencies with debris, road closures and fallen trees
- Putting aside barricades in commonly flooded areas such as the North Shore and South Side