Broken pipe, excessive rain cause Banksville flooding

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A portion of Banksville Road had to be closed three times in the past two weeks due to flooding -- a problem that will keep happening if the collapsed pipe along the side of the roadway is not fixed.

The section between Crane Avenue and the Parkway West closed as recently as Tuesday after an afternoon storm rolled through the Pittsburgh region. It reopened after a few hours once the flooding was contained.

Steve Cowan, a spokesman for PennDOT, said the pipe that runs parallel to Banksville Road is on private property, meaning it is the owner's responsibility to make the necessary repairs. With significant rain, the road will continue to flood.

PennDOT is in the process of setting up a meeting with the property owner to discuss repairs. If the owner does not agree to repair the pipe, the department will make the necessary repairs and send him a bill.

"We want the property owner to rectify the situation," Mr. Cowan said. "This is in the interest of public safety."

Mr. Cowan said PennDOT is monitoring the situation and has a crew at the scene.

The significant rainfall over the past few days also contributed to the mudslide on Pitcairn Road in Monroeville.

Trees and mud caused by the 100-ton mudslide were cleared, but officials decided to keep the road closed for the time being because of concerns of additional slides, said Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs.

The silver lining of the gray clouds that plagued the region for the past few weeks is that the weather pattern is behind us. The humid weather mixed with frequent afternoon rainfall made the weather comparable to tropical Florida.

National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Hendricks said the reason the weather stayed the same was due to the air mass stalled over the region. Typically, a frontal system comes through every three to five days to modify the air mass but movement did not occur, causing the area to be stuck in a period of abnormally warm and humid air.

Although rain is no longer in the forecast, the expected low temperatures could garner similar groans from Pittsburgh residents.

This morning's temperature could set a record low for the region, trumping the previous record low of 51 degrees from 1953. It is expected to be in the low 50s in the morning, caused by a strong cold front that pushed through the Tuesday afternoon and evening, Mr. Hendricks said.

weather - neigh_city - region

Jessica Tully: jtully@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1159 or on Twitter @jessalynn4.


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