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Flash Floods Create Mess, Route 51 & South Busway Reopened

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Constant, steady and heavy rains throughout the day caused flash flooding that paralyzed some of the busiest roads in the South Hills Friday afternoon.

Now, cleanup is underway as local residents and business try and pick up the pieces of a very big mess.

The flooding affected numerous roadways in the South Hills - Route 51, Edgebrook Avenue, Bausman Street, Whited Street, Maytide Street, Streets Run Road, Mifflin Road, Lewis Run Road, Route 88, Baldwin Road and Lebanon Church Road - just to name a few.

According to Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Michael Huss the worst of the storm and flooding hit south of the Monongahela in the southern part of the city.

Marty Griffin Reports: Driver Trapped
Marty Griffin Reports: Business Flooded
Bob Allen Reports: Route 51
David Highfield Reports: Local Officials Discuss Flooding
Bob Allen Reports: Garages Flooded
Marty Griffin Reports: Overbrook Flooding
Mary Robb Jackson Reports: Baldwin Flooding
Photo Gallery: Flash Floods Close Local Roads

He said along Route 51 there were two rescues and an injury as a result of one of this rescues.

"A pedestrian that became trapped that was outside of a car and the other one was in a car, it's my understanding, but they're both doing fine," said Huss. "We had one battalion chief from fire that was transported to the hospital. He performed one of the rescues and received a back injury in the process. He was transported for evaluation and those are the only injuries we have at this point."

On Route 51 in Overbrook, three to four feet of water rose up and flooded the road around 3 p.m.

"I put down my passenger window and a man down the way helped me out… and we swam up the roadway," said Anthony Miranda, who became trapped in his car there.

"Right now, you could dive into our basement," added Shelly Moskiewski, whose workplace – the Roth Cash Register Company – was flooded. "It's so sad because cars will start pulling in here and all these people had to abandon their cars. I told them, 'this is not the place to stop. This is the worst spot.' This has happened eight times throughout the years."

Down the road, two auto repair shops were flooded, too.

Jason Lubawy watched flood waters gush through his auto detailing shop.

"The cars that were in there were floating," said Lubawy. "All our stuff, our dumpster's there. The next business up, that's their dumpster all the way down there. And it's raining again."

But Jim Andiets managed to get a number of cars out of his garage.

"I had to hustle up and get 30, 35 cars out of here," said Andiets. "Everyone in the alley pitched in and we all got everything out of here and now we're just dealing with the cleanup."

Andiets says he hasn't seen anything like this since the remnants of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

"Hurricane Ivan was the last time it flooded like this," he said. "Maybe we could get some dredging going on in the Saw Mill Run Creek here. It'd be nice. Just better drainage."

Meanwhile, the creek along Streets Run Road in Baldwin was still roiling Friday evening, running fast and muddy. But the flash flooding that forced the water over its banks had subsided.

A Baldwin police officer says the water popped manhole covers in the area and pushed piles of tree trunks and branches over railroad tracks paralleling Streets Run.

At Chapon's Greenhouse, there was lots of sludge to clean up.

"It came up so fast that we barely had time to move a few vehicles that we had here," said Pete Chapon, the business's owner. "You can see that it came up so high, it floated our trash bin from this side of the parking lot and it almost went into the creek."

Despite a massive cleanup, the greenhouse will be open Saturday.

The flooding also affected Port Authority riders.

Officials with the Port Authority say the South Busway is fully reopened tonight after a large portion had to be closed this afternoon.

According to the Port Authority, "riders should be advised that residual delays are likely as the buses must return from their detour routing on Brownsville Road back to regular busway and Route 51 service."

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