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Flash Flooding Leaves Lasting Impacts on Residents in Plum and Penn Hills

ALLEGHENY COUNTY (KDKA) -- Residents in Plum and Penn Hills are still cleaning up after torrential rain wreaked havoc on the area.

Many residents were washed out as flash flood waters invaded their homes.

Ray Garlitz was one of the homeowners who had water rush into their house late Sunday. Garlitz had a helpless feeling, as he watched the water from Plum Creek wash toward his home on Anderson Avenue.

"We were standing on our porch right there and just looking out at the creek," Garlitz said.

"This time, it came up to the garage and within 10 minutes, it went from the bottom of the garage to four feet inside," Garlitz added.

Just about all of his neighbors are recovering from flood damage after four-and-a-half inches of rain in an hour led to the flooding of dozens of homes over the last 48 hours.

"The majority of damage is private residences," Plum Borough Manager Mike Thomas said. "A lot of homes were flooded, upwards of 150 homes that we're aware of right now."

Eight ballfields were damaged or destroyed by the resulting floods. Thomas said the fields have been flooded before but never this bad.

"We know that all the infields are completely ruined," Thomas said. "We know that the amount of water that came rushing through here actually eroded away some of the outfields and messed with elevations of some of the fields."

Businesses along the Golden Mile Highway were also flooded. A video shows water runoff that turned into a small river that rushed down the roadway.

The owner of the Holiday Garden Center called it a catastrophe after his 35-year-old business was destroyed. Equipment and plants were washed away that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Heavy rains and flash flooding closed the O'Block Playground in Boyce Park and left significant damage throughout the Boyce Park trail system, Allegheny County announced.

The county reminded hikers to abide by all trail closures and not to cross damaged bridges or create new trails.

Plum native Pat McAfee started a GoFundMe to help those in Plum impacted by the flooding.

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