Update: Southwest Pa. under a flash flood warning Sunday night (2024)

On Sunday at 8:24 p.m. the National Weather Service issued an updated flash flood warning in effect until 10:30 p.m. for Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

"At 8:24 p.m., Trained weather spotters reported flooding along Main Street in New Eagle due to heavy rain within the warned area. Between 1 and 2 inches of rain have fallen. Additional rainfall amounts up to 0.5 inches are possible in the warned area. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly, most likely in low-lying areas," according to the weather service. "Flash flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other poor drainage and low-lying areas."

Locations impacted by the warning include Bethel Park, McMurray, Canonsburg, Gastonville, South Park Township, Jefferson Hills, Monessen, Clairton, Donora, Monongahela, Charleroi, West Newton, Bentleyville, New Eagle, Wickerham Manor-Fisher, Baidland, Elizabeth, North Charleroi, Lincoln and Lynnwood-Pricedale.

The weather service comments, "Turn around, don't drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Be aware of your surroundings and do not drive on flooded roads."

Update: Southwest Pa. under a flash flood warning Sunday night (1)

Deciphering advisories, watches, and warnings: Understanding weather alerts

  • Flash flood warning: Take action!

A flash flood warning is issued when a flash flood is either imminent or already occurring. In flood-prone areas, it's crucial to move immediately to higher ground. A flash flood is a sudden and violent inundation that can develop within minutes to hours, and it can even happen in areas not currently experiencing rainfall.

  • Flood warning: Take action!

A flood warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

  • Flood advisory: Be aware:

A flood advisory is released when flooding is not expected to reach a severity level necessitating a warning. Nonetheless, it can still cause considerable inconvenience and, without exercising caution, potentially lead to situations that threaten life and/or property.

  • Flood watch: Be prepared:

A flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It doesn't guarantee that flooding will occur, but it signifies that the possibility exists.

Be flood-ready: Expert guidance from the weather service for your safety

In flood-prone regions or while camping in low-lying areas, understanding and following the weather service flood safety guidelines can be a lifesaver:

1. Move to higher ground:

  • If you reside in a flood-prone region or are camping in low-lying terrain, the first step to safety is relocating to higher ground.

2. Follow evacuation orders:

  • If local authorities issue an evacuation order, heed it promptly. Prior to leaving, secure your home by locking it.

3. Disconnect utilities and appliances:

  • If time allows, disconnect your utilities and appliances. This reduces the risk of electrical hazards during flooding.

4. Steer clear of flooded basem*nts and submerged areas:

  • Steer clear of basem*nts or rooms where water has submerged electrical outlets or cords. This helps prevent electrical accidents.

5. Evacuate promptly for safety:

  • If you notice sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping, or popping noises, evacuate immediately. Avoid any water that may be charged with electricity.

6. Stay away from floodwaters:

  • Never attempt to walk through floodwaters. Even just 6 inches of swiftly moving water can forcefully knock you off your feet.

7. Seek high ground if trapped:

  • Should you become trapped by moving water, reach the highest point possible and dial 911 to contact emergency services.

During periods of heavy rainfall, especially in low-lying and flood-prone areas, the risk of flooding escalates. Remember this crucial advice: never attempt to drive through water on the road, even if it appears shallow. According to the weather service, as little as 12 inches of rapidly flowing water can carry away most vehicles. Prioritize your safety by staying informed and prepared.

Navigating heavy rain: Essential safety measures for wet roads

When heavy rain sets in, the risk of flooding and hazardous driving conditions rises. Whether it's prolonged rainfall or rapid runoff, being prepared is essential. Here are some valuable safety tips from the weather service to ensure you stay safe in heavy rain:

Beware of rapid water flow:

  • Avoid parking or walking in close proximity to culverts or drainage ditches, as the swiftly moving water during heavy rain can potentially carry you away.

Maintain safe driving distances:

  • Use the two-second rule to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you and allow an extra two seconds in heavy rain.

Slow down and drive with care:

  • On wet roads, reducing your speed is crucial. Ease off the gas pedal gradually and avoid abrupt braking to prevent skidding.

Choose your lane wisely:

  • Stick to the middle lanes on multi-lane roads to minimize the risk of hydroplaning, as water tends to accumulate in outer lanes.

Visibility matters:

  • Enhance your visibility in heavy rain by activating your headlights. Be particularly vigilant for vehicles in blind spots, as rain-smeared windows can obscure them.

Watch out for slippery roads:

  • Be extra careful during the first half hour after rain begins. Grime and oil on the road surface mix with water to make the road slippery.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

  • Don't follow large trucks or buses too closely. The spray created by their large tires reduces your vision. Take care when passing them as well; if you must pass, do so quickly and safely.

Mind your windshield wipers:

  • Overloaded wiper blades can hinder visibility. If rain severely impairs your vision, pull over and wait for conditions to improve. Seek refuge at rest areas or sheltered spots.
  • If the roadside is your only option, pull off as far as possible, preferably past the end of a guard rail, and wait until the storm passes. Keep your headlights on and turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers of your position.

By following these safety measures, you can significantly reduce risks and ensure your well-being when heavy rain pours down. Stay informed about weather conditions and heed advice from local authorities to make your journey safe and sound.

Advance Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to compile the latest data from the National Weather Service.

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Update: Southwest Pa. under a flash flood warning Sunday night (2024)
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