Cloudburst storms kill 4 in Pittsburgh- 3 inches of rain fall in one hour, roads explode

August 20, 2011PITTSBURGH, PA – A pair of powerful storms that pounded Pittsburgh on Friday cut electricity to hospitals and universities and submerged several vehicles in a flash flood that killed three people. Authorities said they were searching for other possible victims in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood, where muddy cars remained stranded on Washington Boulevard after the water had receded into the Allegheny River. Rescue crews used inflatable boats to reach marooned drivers, some of whom said the water rose 6 feet and covered their vehicles. Some drivers swam to safety; Rhodearland “Bob” Bailey, 79, of Penn Hills, was rescued from the roof of his car. “I can swim a little bit and was looking at a tree branch,” Bailey told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I heard one woman yelling for help, but the water was coming down so fast, I couldn’t see. … I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Lord have mercy.” The flooding occurred in the late afternoon after the city was drenched with up to 3 inches of rain in an hour, the National Weather Service reported. The three victims, whose names were not released, were found in the same minivan, according to KDKA-TV. Emergency officials said a fourth person was missing, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Tara Howes, 34, of Gibsonia, told the Tribune-Review that “manhole covers started popping up and it looked like the road exploded and the waters came up really fast. I saw people swimming on the sides of the road. It was pretty scary.” The flash floods hit an area that experienced serious flooding last month. Claudia Gallagher, 55, of West Mifflin, was driving north on Washington Boulevard at the height of rainfall and tried to get off the road as the water rose. –USA Today
contribution Warren/ Megan
This entry was posted in Cloudburst storms with flashflooding, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Extreme Weather Event, Unprecedented Flooding. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Cloudburst storms kill 4 in Pittsburgh- 3 inches of rain fall in one hour, roads explode

  1. Shawn Bash says:

    I just found your site. Very informative. Its refreshing to see someone spreadind unadulteratd truth in these dark times. Thank you

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  2. Oh my goodness. What is with these cloudbursts and gust fronts lately. Either these are more frequent or I wasn’t been paying attention before. My prayers for the families of these victims.

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  3. Tina Marie says:

    I know I read somewhere, maybe here, that these types of storms world intensify over the next year. I had experienced “pop up storms” many times during my years in Ga, so I can get a sense of how quickly it can get bad but it was nothing compared to this. We actually had a small episode here in Mi a few wks ago where a downburst ripped the top out of a tree next to my house, which landed on our roof, and also uprooted a 100 yr old tree in front of the courthouse about 2 blocks away. It rained like no other but didn’t cause any flooding just swole the river up a little, Thank God. I believe (and read somewhere else) it has something to do with the upper level winds getting increasing higher, but would love to hear your thoughts Alvin since you know so much more than me.

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  4. james says:

    Nothing to do with attention, these are starting to become frequent for a reason and will grow in strenght with each month..

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  5. Megan says:

    That road is a major route into Oakland, where the UPMC hospitals are and the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon etc. I just had brought my husband home from the hospital on that road one day earlier. If we had come that day at that day, we would not have been able to escape. So sad for those who lost their lives. There was flooding on that road about a month ago, but not as bad as this.

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  6. Dennis E. says:

    I think it would be wise for somebody in the weather business to issue a world-wide alert.
    I just watched this on CNN and they just said “wow”.

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  7. LouiseGray says:

    I live in Pgh., Yesterday started off as a bright sunny hot day and I was going to walk to the grocery store but decided to drive instead in case I bought a few heavy items. Within an hour or so, the sky became dark from the North and there was a heavy rainfall. After the rain, the temperature plummeted about 15 degrees. I had to close the windows and doors in the house because it was chilly. About an hour or two later, the sun came out and it started heating up again but in a very weird way. It just felt that something was odd. I walked to work around 3 pm and again the sky was darkening. By 4 pm, it was pitch black outside, the rain poured.There was also hail, lots of thunder and lightning. In fact all of the stores on the one side of the street where I work in Shadyside had to close to flooding of the basements. This was not your ordinary storm. . . . . It was scary and disqueting. I feel so terrible for the people on Washington Blvd, which recently experienced flooding during a similar storm. The people who died started out their morning never thinking that by day’s end they would be dead due to the weather.

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    • Such accounts are increasingly coming in from all corners of the globe and you’re not alone in your experience, Louise. The severity and most oft, arrival of these storms, are rarely predicted and they disappear almost as fast as they arrive after unleashing a thunderous, sometimes hellish assault on people, the landscape and natural ecology.

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  8. Weather manipulation – man made. It is happening all over the country, spontaneously.

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  9. Shelley says:

    On Thursday, 8/18, at Belgium’s 2011 Pukkelpop music festival, ravaging storms swept through, uprooting trees, taking down festival light towers and TV screens, and eventually collapsing a stage, which killed five and injured close to 140 others….

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