pittsburgh flood 2004
It will take days or weeks to determine the damage in Harrisburg, but it should top $1 million, according to Mayor Stephen R. Reed. Sept. 18, 2004 . About 2,000 city residents were evacuated during the weekend as the river and Paxton Creek spilled over their banks, flooding the Shipoke neighborhood, parts of uptown and Cameron Street. Wayne Roller -- executive director of the North Hills Council of Governments, to which these communities belong -- says the work started four years ago, with an inventory of what each municipality was doing on its own. Last December, it came before Allegheny County Council, where it passed 15-0. flooded with disastrous consequences. View from front of Lincoln '", But the 2007 floods washed away some of that cheer. It was pretty depressing.". Flood stage is 17 feet. The program is voluntary and is supported by $4.9 million in federal and state money. "Why should the plans be updated?" If other counties "take advantage of us ... the companies will go that way because it may be less stringent for them to do that," said county Councilor Matt Drozd, who also represents some northern suburbs, at the December meeting. Throw your dog in the car and drive up the hill.". Civic organizations in the city, with financial backing from the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the Chamber of Commerce had been asking the Federal Government for help with flood control for almost thirty years. like Carnegie. "Everything that happens upstream affects us," says Mayor Cinski. Something happened here. The Chamber of Commerce estimated that the persistent flooding had caused between $150,000,000 and $200,000,000 in damages to the city. Shaler targeted houses that had suffered repeated flooding, at least to the first floor. "I think we need to change the land ethic," says Kraynyk. 9. Some communities are taking such steps. The unprecedented record rainfall amount came only weeks after Hurricane Francis dumped a record 3.60 inches. "Think about it," Kraynyk says. One thing is clear: "Three times in three years -- that's not a plan that is working. and the riverfronts as the water receded. Millvaler Brian Wolovich stands beside a reinforced wall in his backyard. inches of rain on the Pittsburgh region. With his Millvale address just minutes from the city, he's got the kind of tranquil backyard that many people dream of -- when it's not overflowing, at least. But a severe storm like Ivan -- the sort of storm some studies say may become more common as Earth's climate warms -- could easily push those limits. This is the city of Pittsburgh Commuters should leave home for work 30 minutes early to deal with traffic, Reed advised. A whole block of families had flooded basements and threw away most of their possessions. In Girty's Run-watershed communities like Ross, there are plans to install new retention ponds -- essentially, storm-water reservoirs -- and to survey the existing ones. River Ave. (just before Ed Rendell has ordered 10,000 to 20,000 “nonessential” state workers in Harrisburg to stay home today as the city begins to recover. The act correctly predicted what later flooding in Millvale and other communities would tragically confirm: Overdeveloping land along a body of moving water "increases flood flows and velocities," thus undermining downstream efforts to prevent flooding. Another 15 are currently negotiating a deal. Triangle - 2004 And in Millvale's case, preventive action upstream has been minimal. overflow their banks, bringing flooding to parts of the region that had by the twin hurricances, Francis and Ivan. Nearly 2,000 families have been served with an average of $500 per family being spent. The update also lays out guidelines for redevelopment of existing property, and states that only Allegheny County can grant a waiver to the requirements. Wolovich still lives in the midst of damage from floods past. at more than 264 million dollars. Girty's Run kept safely beneath its walls. Photos from Pittsburgh Flood after remnants of Hurricane Ivan. "How do you count stuff like that?" The Patriot-News reported on Monday, Sept. 20, 2004: The midstate will begin wringing itself dry today from weekend flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan, as swollen rivers and streams slowly recede and evacuees return to wet, muddy homes. "We have ideas, but we and Allegheny County have not yet reached an agreement on how to tackle the county.". Now, "In the months after August, every time it rains, you're saying, 'Shit, here we go again,'" Wolovich says. 5. But even these rules constitute just one step in getting the county -- let alone the state -- up to speed on storm-water management. After the last one, people were just so disgusted. 85.0k. what the result would have been had the flood Additionally, "Credit should be given to Shaler Township," says Schombert. During a flood, he says, "You scramble: What doesn't need to be saved? Flooding in Middle Paxton Twp., Sept. 19, 2004. At that point, "everything is all mixed up," says John Schombert, executive director of 3 Rivers Wet Weather, a group that studies sewage and water issues. (Photo courtesy of Fred F. Shankweiler). Cinski says whole cars were moved around. What can be saved? Help fund crucial watchdog journalism. amount came only weeks after Hurricane Francis dumped a record 3.60 inches. Cleaning up a flooded grassy lot, by contrast, requires a fraction of the cost of treating a flood-damaged house. However, adds Wolovich, having two floods in one week "was really our blessing in disguise" -- because it finally made the problem impossible to ignore. The remnants of Hurricane Ivan dumped from 4 to 7 inches of rain in central Pennsylvania Sept. 18-19, 2004. We're going to allow it to flood here.'". -- Bob Dylan, "The Times They Are A-Changin'". Relative to '04, last year's flooding wasn't bad -- but it was hardly comfortable. But moving people out of floodplains can be financially and politically difficult. after the St. Patrick's Day Flood of 1936 not been introduced. Almost half of the households in Millvale, for instance, have an annual income of less than $25,000, according to the 2000 census. River crested at 31 feet, disastrous but far from catastrophic. They were going to do it eventually.". "You don't count it, you just get it out.". A sense of optimism and renewal grew. It's also not practical for every community. Roller and Ross Manager Tom Lavorini say they haven't heard any complaints from developers about the updated regulations. The Millvale resident's bedroom window looks out into his backyard and over Girty's Run, the creek that snakes through the borough and has plagued it with nightmarish flooding in recent years. And no one can dispute the fact that this is going to happen again and again and again until we get caught up.". Pittsburgh Flood 2004 – Hurricane Ivan. 10 th Street Bypass . 11. As the update notes, a "traditional drainage approach" has been to funnel the water offsite and trap it in a detention basin, a man-made pond, that releases the water into sewers or streams more gradually. Along other sections, walls are being patched or replaced to prevent further erosion. Dredging of the creek was supposed to begin after Ivan in 2004, but government funding (and public attention) for projects like Girty's Run dried up in 2005. "The '07 was the straw that broke the camel's back," says Bohn, adding that it reopened the old wounds and raised questions about how seriously people in power took the problem. Act 167 requires each county to prepare and adopt storm-water-management plans for each of its watersheds. Watersheds and streams, Drozd added, do not respect municipal borders. drifting down river, 22. Pittsburgh's Golden Ninth Street Bridge . boats parked inside), 29. Most of City Island was underwater. This is one in an occasional series about the attempts of the Moran family of Etna to recover from the Sept. 17 flooding. After the Big Flood of 1907, Pittsburgh petitioned the government to begin the system of flood control measures. After the flood, the borough received promises from President George W. Bush that better times were ahead. The storm sparked more than 100 tornadoes along its path, including several that might have touched down in Cumberland, Franklin and Bedford counties, Dangelo said. Here is the flood photo gallery from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. And so the city's landscape was transformed from "one marked by flowing streams and a healthy stream ecology into a site almost completely devoid of waterways except for the large rivers. Northshore Apts. In the downtown area, the Ohio But, as the municipalities begin to advertise the new ordinances, opposition may yet arise. Underneath the register, Bohn keeps a stack of photo printouts. "We don't have a strategy in place yet for tackling Allegheny County," Newman says. Considering the onslaught of two "Channelizing" streams -- cutting them into big trenches and walling them off like waterslides, as has been done with Girty's Run -- has also proven problematic. I think they thought that they had calmed it down some and they were going to do more work. City codes officers and representatives from UGI and PPL will inspect homes and businesses as floodwater recedes today to determine whether they are safe. 4. It's diluted with storm water, but that's about the best you can say about it.". The ordinances will create uniformity throughout the watershed, so developers can't pressure officials into easing requirements by pitting municipalities against each other. On the other side there's a missing concrete fence, taken down in the even worse flooding that followed Hurricane Ivan, in 2004. In Carnegie for instance, Chartier's Creek Posted by 2 years ago. About 2,000 city residents were evacuated during the weekend as the Susquehanna River and Paxton Creek spilled over their banks, flooding the Shipoke neighborhood and parts of uptown and Cameron Street. 3. Bohn asks. Newman says 37 counties have signed agreements with the state for the DEP to prepare countywide plans. "Historically, there were lots of streams open and free in Pittsburgh, but over time we've encapsulated, culverted and piped those streams," he says. It's also going to take more than moving people out of harm's way. ", "Absolutely, people were upset" after the 2007 floods, Cinski says. Allegheny County is among the remaining 15 counties, which are the farthest from setting up a countywide plan. Neighbors scrap flood-damaged property, in 2004. remnants of Hurricane Ivan. A few years ago, in the absence of action by Allegheny County, 19 municipalities from the suburbs north of Pittsburgh -- including Ross Township, Pine Township, Shaler, Fox Chapel and Millvale -- took it on themselves to draft an updated storm-water plan for the Girty's Run, Pine Creek, Squaw Run and Deer Creek watersheds. Trees and soil, which soak up rainwater, are swapped for concrete or asphalt that simply speeds it to the stream. Replanting previously developed lands, by contrast, can actually increase the amount of water that is intercepted. on September 19, 2004, shortly after Hurricane Ivan dumped a record 5.95 Volunteer. Get more information. On the right side of his property there's a gap where a vinyl fence. The plans stalled. 452. The feeling of dread doesn't soon go away. Posted by 2 years ago. Additionally, "We're locking ourselves into long-term maintenance and just extending the time that we need to be addressing the upstream, real causes.
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