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Rising Flood Waters Surround Homes In Beaver And Butler Counties, Prompt Evacuations And Road Closures

By: Bryant Reed/Chris Hoffman/KDKA-TV News

NORTH FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) -- Between heavy rain, snow melt, ice jams and fluctuating temperatures, there is some major flooding going on across the area this Friday.

The hardest-hit places appear to be in parts of Beaver and Butler counties. North Franklin Township residents were forced from their homes. According to the county emergency services director, in Franklin Township, crews rescued 9 adults and 3 kids as the Connoquenessing Creek overflowed.

(Photo Credit: NewsChopper 2/KDKA)

Neighbors said flooding this bad doesn't happen very often, but when it does, they're forced out of their homes for days at a time.

"Every time the water comes up, they're running," said Stanley Miles, who lives on McKim Way.

McKim Way was impassable to the majority of residents on the street because of flooding from the Conoquenessing Creek. Miles was one of the lucky ones, who's now helping out his neighbors.

"I let the people bring their cars up and motorcycles and everything because they get it pretty bad and have to wait until the water goes down," said Miles.

Roads look similar in other areas of north franklin township too. On mercer road, a truck got stuck trying to get through the water. Jim Cambio says he saw the truck and immediately called for help.

"When I come out here, I seen it," said Cambio. "I called 911 and then the rescue squad came out here and found out there was nobody in the car, they just left it they walked out when the water was up to their knees."

(Photo Credit: NewsChopper 2/KDKA)

Another part of the creek flooded a neighbors' vehicle parked at his home. Miles said the recovery from the damage never gets easy.

"They've been flooded out two or three times, and they get into the house, and everything is a mess," Miles told KDKA. "You get inside and you have to tear everything out -- insulation, drywall and all that -- and you must start over from scratch."

But he says when living in this area, you learn to deal with it.

"Something you got to put up with. You live in a flood zone, you got to put up with it. If you don't like it, get out," he said.

Miles says at the peak of flooding Friday morning, water was at least four inches above the road. For now, his neighbors are staying with family.

A little upstream, in Butler County, the Connoquenessing was also out of its banks in Zelienople, Harmony and Renfrew. A handful of roads there were flooded but should be open soon if they're not already. PennDOT crews will be out checking to make sure no roads ice over as the water recedes.

WATCH: KDKA's Bryant Reed reports

We say it all the time, but it bears repeating: turn around, don't drown.

"If there is even just two feet of water, which seems very minimal, two feet of water, if it's moving can actually lift and float a vehicle. We do keep an eye on the depth, we keep an eye on whether it's moving water, standing water and make our judgments based on that to prevent any situations where recuses need done," PennDOT District 10 Community Relations Coordinator Tina Gibbs said.

Dispatch for Butler County said they had no major incidents or rescues there today.

KDKA crews spoke with Lorraine Robinson who had parts of her farm underwater. She said State Route 356 has a pipe underneath it not working. According to her, it backs up and causes a mess and floods Bonniebrook Road in Jefferson Township.

"It hasn't stopped being a lake this winter, this fall. We couldn't even let the cows out now if we wanted to if the weather was nice," Robinson said.

PennDOT said it plans to fix the pipe in the spring because it can't in the winter weather. Crews were out pumping water Friday to clear up the area.

Back in Beaver County, crews are still assessing the damage. PennDOT said one road, Barclay Hill Road, will be reduced to one lane for some time after some of it was washed away in the Industry area.

Crews will be out overnight making sure any water on the roads doesn't turn to ice.

"We'll keep an eye on it. We'll have crews out all through the night monitoring all the roadways and the areas that flooded," PennDOT District 11 Assistant District Executive of Maintenance Lori Musto said.

KDKA Meteorologist Mary Ours says there is still a Flood Advisory for the Ohio River.

Flooding is ongoing for Connoquenessing Creek in Beaver County and at the Allegheny River near Kittanning in Armstrong County and Clarion County. Pike and Rimer are a few locations that could see rising water through Saturday evening.

The aerial view from NewsChopper 2 late Friday morning showed flood waters surrounding homes and bridges in Fombell, Beaver County, and Zelienople, Butler County.

The rising waters have forced the closure of many roads, as well as the Mon Wharf in downtown Pittsburgh.

The 10th Street Bypass will also close at 4 p.m. in both directions due to anticipated flooding, PennDOT said. It will close between I-279 Parkway North/Fort Duquesne Bridge and Fort Duquesne Boulevard. Ramps from northbound and southbound I-279 to the 10th Street Bypass will close too.

The "Bathtub" area of westbound I-376 will also be scheduled to close around 10 p.m., but could close earlier. PennDOT is also closing the southbound I-279 ramp to eastbound I-376 around the same time.

Here are PennDOT's other road closures by county:

Allegheny County (11 p.m. Update)

-- Southbound I-279 (Parkway North) ramp to eastbound I-376 (Parkway East) in the City of Pittsburgh (Known as "Interstate Connector")
-- Westbound I-376 (Parkway East) between Grant Street and Fort Pitt Bridge within the City of Pittsburgh (Known as "Bathtub")
-- 10th Street Bypass (Route 2128) between I-279 Parkway North/Fort Duquesne Bridge and Fort Duquesne Boulevard in the City of Pittsburgh
-- Potato Garden Run Road (Route 3071) single-lane restriction between US-22 in North Fayette Township and Boggs Road in Findlay Township

Armstrong County (2 p.m. Update)

-- State Routes 3013 (Nicola Road/Mushroom Farm Road/Nichola Road) CLOSED
-- 4035 (Craigsville Road/Yellow Dog Road) CLOSED
-- State Route 1004 (Rimerton Road) CLOSED

Beaver County (11 p.m. Update)

-- Mercer Road (Route 1006) between Route 65 and PA-288 (Zelienople Road) in Franklin Township
-- Barclay Hill Road (Route 4037) single-lane restriction between Midland Beaver Road and John E Gray Drive in Industry Borough
-- Brush Creek Road (Route 1019) between Powell Road and Mellon Road (Route 1018) in New Sewickley Township
-- Hartzell School Road (Route 1015) between PA-588 in Marion Township and Fombell Road in Franklin Township
-- Shadyrest Road (Route 1008) between PA-288/Zelienople Road Intersection and Celia Road in Franklin Township
-- Raccoon Creek Road (Route 3019) between Mowry Road and Route 18 in Potter Township
-- Paradise Road (Route 4041) single-lane restriction between Middle Road and Wolf Run Road in Industry Borough

Butler County (2 p.m. Update)

-- State Route 3027 (Hartmann Road/Seneca School Road) REOPENED
-- PA-38 (Oneida Valley Road) REOPENED

-- State Route 3006 (Renfrew Road) CLOSED
-- PA-138 (North Washington Road) CLOSED.

-- State Route 308 (West Sunbury Road) has lane closures and intermittent traffic stoppages.

Clarion County (2 p.m. Update)

-- State Route 2009 (Cherry Run Road/Callensburg Road) REOPENED
-- Cherry Run Street/Lawsonham Road/Lawsonham Street) REOPENED
-- State Route 2003 (Reidsburg Road/Olean Trial) REOPENED

Fayette County

-- Jumonville Road (Route 2021) in North Union Township between Washington Springs Road and Old Braddock Road is closed due to downed trees in wires.

Indiana County (2 p.m. Update)

-- State Routes 580 (Maple Street) REOPENED
-- 1022 (Siebring Road) REOPENED
-- 1014 (Wandin Road/Pine Flats Road) REOPENED
-- 4020 (West Creek Road) REOPENED

Lawrence County (8 p.m. Update)

-- Route 108 has Department flaggers alternating single-lane traffic between Stoughton Road and Studebaker Road in Scott Township

Washington County (3:30 p.m. Update)

-- Route 481 in Fallowfield Township at the intersection of Shannon Road is closed due to downed trees.

Westmoreland County (3:30 p.m. Update)

-- Ross Mountain Park Road (Route 1007) between Lower Club Road in Fairfield Township and Shrum Hill Road in St. Clair Township is closed due to downed trees in wires.
-- Bethel Church Road (Route 2033) in Unity Township between Route 982 and Solomon Temple Road is closed due to a downed utility.
-- Two Mile Run Road (Route 2045) in Ligonier Township between Weller Road and Dickey Road is closed due to a downed tree in wires.
-- Tyrol BL/Pricedale Road (Route 3003) from the on ramp of I-70 W to the intersection of Sunny Ave in Monessen due to downed trees in wires.

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