Photo by Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter
Flash flooding closed Valleybrook Road near East McMurray Road in Peters Township.

Heavy rains spawn widespread floods

BY KATHIE WARCO, Staff writer

A storm that slammed through Washington County Saturday morning dumped plenty of rain in a short period of time, causing already swollen creeks to overflow and storm drains to back up.

"Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink," quipped Tim Solobay, first assistant chief of Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Department.

But the deluge was no laughing matter for firefighters across most of the county, who spent much of the morning and early afternoon pumping water from basements and clearing debris from storm sewers.

Solobay said one weather guru in south Canonsburg reported that 2 inches of
rain came down in 30 minutes. John Darnley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon Township, said about 11Ú4 inches of rain fell Saturday morning, with the area south of Pittsburgh getting heavier downpours.

Solobay said the heavy rains almost created a river in the new Maronda
housing development on Hooks Lane.

"Some of the storm sewers are not open, so the water just rolled on the blacktop streets," Solobay said. "Some of the homes that were built had swimming pools in their back yards and basements."

Water also came down from another new development in east Canonsburg off McEwen Road, creating flooding problems.

"The ground was cleared, and without the trees to soak up some of the water
it was just a deluge," Solobay said.

Firefighters pumped at least 15 basements. The borough crew and a pipe-cleaning company were clearing clogged debris from storm grates in the event of more rain later this weekend. Route 50 between Route 980 and Glass Hill Road in Cecil Township was closed Saturday morning when the road flooded.