Parts of Washington County flood after Friday morning rain

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The water rose quickly around Bonnie Mattie's home in Daisytown, taking much of what was in its path: a travel-trailer, an outdoor smoker nailed to the garage, her son's shed.

"It took it just like it was a little twig or something," she said of her granddaughter's trampoline, which also was swept away, along with an above-ground swimming pool.

"It's been a crazy day from the time I've gotten up."

She and many residents of West Pike Run likely will spend their weekends cleaning up after up to 3 inches of rain Friday morning caused the 10-square-mile township in Washington County to declare a state of emergency.

"I've been here 55 years and haven't seen a storm like this," said township Supervisor Phil Podroskey. "It's been a long, long time since it flooded like this."

Streams and creeks in the township, about 50 minutes south of Pittsburgh, ran over their banks Friday morning and a small number of people were evacuated, a county dispatch supervisor said. That included children at a day-care center, Mr. Podroskey said.

Authorities said about 40 homes were flooded up to the basement or first floor, and that most heavy rainfall was concentrated in residential areas. Township manager Erin Sakalik said she and a team were assessing damage on foot Friday and dispatched about 20 more volunteers late in the afternoon when they realized the flooding was more widespread than first thought -- she estimated two-thirds of the township was affected.

At the height of storm, 10 roads were closed; most had reopened late afternoon Friday.

"It was like a black cloud just hovered over the township," Ms. Sakalik said.

No injuries related to the weather were reported in the county. The Red Cross aided those displaced in West Pike Run.

John Darnley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, based in Moon, said Bentleyville and areas south toward California saw an average of 2 inches of rain from 7 to 10 a.m. Friday. Some isolated areas received as much as three.

In Ellsworth, people reported flooded basements, and Long Branch and Twilight reported flooded roads early that morning, the supervisor said.

Numerous roads in that part of the county were closed, and parts of Westmoreland and Fayette counties were also affected by the storms, which arrived with a cold front that moved south and east.

The same storm was also being blamed for a mudslide along the westbound lanes of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Friday, which slowed traffic for a time between Donegal and New Stanton.

The forecast for the region this weekend is sunny and dry with highs in the low 80s.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @borntolede. First Published August 23, 2013 12:30 AM


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