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126 Homes And Businesses Damaged After Torrential Rain In Allegheny County

PENN HILLS, Pa. (KDKA) -- Storms dropped as much as four inches of rain in some areas of Penn Hills, Plum, Verona and Oakmont earlier this week.

"We got hit pretty bad," Penn Hills Municipal Manager Scott Andrejchak said.

Bessemer Field is just one of several ballfields and parks destroyed by the runoff flooding from the storm Sunday.

"Heartbreaking, just heartbreaking," Liz Nemanic said. "Me and my kids play down here all the time."

Andrejchak said the parks in Penn Hills took a major hit, and they lost about $22,000 worth of road salt.

He's hoping the damage assessment will qualify for a disaster declaration.

"You have 100% chance of getting nothing if you don't do the assessment," Andrejchak said.

In some cases, the water was just too much for storm sewers and ran down streets and through yards.

In the case of the Meadows Apartments, Plum Creek rushed out of its banks, pushing cars around in the parking lot.

Several cars washed into the creek, creating a dam under the Leechburg Road bridge that made the flooding around the bridge worse.

Two of those cars remained in the creek Wednesday, a quarter-mile downstream.

William Andrews' Chevy Trailblazer didn't get washed away, but it won't start.

"The water in this parking lot, I'd say, was four feet high."

In his apartment, Nick Curl said it was like someone turned on the bathtub full force.

"I heard the sound of rushing water coming from the front here," Curl said. "Then I went into the bedroom and I saw water coming in there and I grabbed a bucket and tried to start bailing and that was a waste of effort"

Most of the first-floor apartments got several inches of water inside before the torrential rain stopped. Large dumpsters are now in the parking lot, holding the carpet ripped out by a restoration company. Dehumidifiers are also running in every unit.

It's a common clean up theme across the area where The Red Cross and Allegheny County have so far tallied 126 homes and businesses damaged. That number is expected to rise.

For homeowners, most of the cost will be out-of-pocket expenses, according to State Farm Agent Jennifer Johnsen-Nazareth.

"If you don't have a flood policy, your home — owners typically or renters typically — won't provide coverage," Johnsen-Nazareth said.

Johnsen-Nazareth said flood insurance only covers water that rises from a body of water. If it came out of the sewers or down the street, "that's typically runoff surface water, and that's not something you can buy from the federal government, state or an insurance company," Johnson said.

The county is asking anyone who had damage to file a report with your municipality, so it can be included in the attempt to get help.

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