in summer is no stranger to violent storms, but Wednesday's weather was wild by any local standard. The rain pelted down -- around 3 inches in some communities -- causing flash flooding that cut roads, inundated basements and inflicted damage that led to power outages for thousands of customers. The South Hills took the brunt of the onslaught and altogether a dozen municipalities in Allegheny County declared disaster emergencies. In the evening a wicked-looking sky promised more fury with tornado warnings in Allegheny and Lawrence counties. One tornado was confirmed to have touched down in Lawrence County, without inflicting injuries. Fortunately, the threat passed quickly and people, given a new respect for the elements, were left to count the inconvenience that rode on the wind of a turbulent day.
IT'S AN ILL WIND that blows nobody any good -- an old saying confirmed in the response of Pittsburgh police, firefighters and paramedics to the big storm. Public safety officials credit the training put in place after the 2011 Washington Boulevard flood, which killed four people, with a more efficient performance this time. Every member of the city's police, fire or EMS bureau has received training on the danger of swift-moving water and has been equipped with personal flotation devices and other gear. First responders can also call on some 200 people trained last month in more advanced techniques.
THE RAIN POURED down Wednesday as 900 mourners packed Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg for the funeral of Bishop-emeritus Anthony Bosco of the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg. Born the son of a North Side tailor, Bishop Bosco was a priest and auxiliary bishop in Pittsburgh before he led the Greensburg Diocese from 1987 to 2004. During his career he also led the communications committee of the U.S. Catholic bishops for several years and spent time at the Vatican. A caring pastor with a ready wit, Bishop Bosco died on July 2 at age 85 in his Unity home while watching a Pirates game on TV with his beloved West Highland terrier. After a good life, it might be said that the rain at his funeral fell as tears from heaven -- but heaven surely would have been glad to welcome him.