High Tide On The Allegheny

High water at Highland Park Dam, 11 July 2019, 4pm (photo by Kate St. John)

Yesterday morning heavy rain caused flash floods, road closures, landslides, basement and first floor flooding, and car accidents in Pittsburgh.

The rain gauge at the airport measured 2.32″ for the day. All but .01″ of it fell in just four hours.

Precipitation at Pittsburgh International Airport, 11 July 2019 (graph from National Weather Service)

There were three huge rain events so thick that you couldn’t see to drive.

  • Half an inch (0.53″) in 50 minutes, 7:05a-7:50a
  • More than a third of an inch (0.38″) in 25 minutes, 7:55-8:17a
  • 1.4 inches in an hour, 10:05a-11:05a

If you want to see what it was like, click here for great footage from WPXI.

Hours later, at 3:30pm, a friend and I made our way from Indiana Township (between Fox Chapel and Cheswick) to Churchill. It took over an hour to get there. The traffic was horrendous and the roads that were open were littered with debris. Nadine, Sandy Creek, and Washington Boulevard were all closed.

But I got two photos of the river in flood.

High tide on the Allegheny!

p.s. This rain didn’t even set a record at the airport though there may have been localized records. My friend Julie had 4″ in her rain gauge in her Squirrel Hill backyard. Sue Vrabel commented below that she had 4.5″ in Churchill.

(photos by Kate St. John, rain graph from the National Weather Service)

3 thoughts on “High Tide On The Allegheny

  1. My rain gauge was empty when the rain started in Churchill about 6:15 am. By 8:15 am it was 2 inches and by 8:40 when it let up a little it was 2-3/4 inches. I was able to grab a photo at that time. By 11:09 am it was just under 4 inches. (My neighbor’s basement which floods in large events had a couple inches of water. It was well under the usual couple of feet they get about every 5 years.) At 12:15 my gauge showed 4.5 inches. That’s where it stopped. We got no more rain, or at least not enough to effect my gauge after that.

    1. My rain gauge in Squirrel Hill near CMU had 5 1/2 inches from overnight till late afternon on Thursday.

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