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PghUSA

The flood of 2005

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Why does it seem like Pittsburgh floods every year lately. You guys should move. :P

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we're actually half duck :P

I am starting to believe in global temperature change, the last few years have been weird, usually there is no problem to the spring thaw and only rarely does it interrupt downtown activity. The last few years though the Interstates that skirt the river both have flooded over. Mudslides in some areas too, to look at Florida hurricanes, the fires out west and the slides out west, etc. etc. it looks like mother nature is angry.

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Why doesn't Pittsburg build a levee to control the floodwaters during its January thaw?

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Now 8 months later yet another downtown Pittsburgh flood, this time not the rivers but a giant watermain break in the middle of downtown. Pittsburgh can't catch a break this year . . . I'm building my ark ;)

20050818jmb_water_garagePJ22_580.jpg

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20050818ds_water_stairsPJ17_580.jpg

20050818ds_water_stanwixPJ19_580.jpg

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Yeah, those pictures of the January flood may look bad, but in fact downtown itself stayed dry. It's just the park (which we can live without for a few days) and the outlying highways that get flooded. People still go to work and all. I used to work at Gateway Center, which is right near the point. I could see the flooded park out the window. But I got to and from work no problem.

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The Gateway Center Station was the only one near the main break (about 5 sq. blocks or so), the Post-Gazette reported that all electrical equipment in all the skyscrapers were not damaged because of the safety feature of "vaulting" but some towers had voluntarily turned off their power temporarily. As far as the subway water did get in and breached the "turnabout" where the line makes a U turn to take "inbound" trains and put them "outbound" right beyond the Gateway center station platform. Pumps and Levees designed to address any natural disaster like that though more then took care of the water, no disruption in subway service took place at all. In many ways the main break was the story of some truly fantastic infrastucuture in downtown and some that is lacking like the main that an editorial pointed out could have very easily been replaced when Duq. Blvd. was rehabbed a few years ago--turns out this ticking timebomb of a water main is more then 50 years old and was "reinforced" in 1986. The good news besides the great automated response by the subway system and the power units in the skyscrapers were was that the only major problem besides some property damage to cars was that a few buildings temporarily lost water pressure, only a few lost complete pressure or water service for more then an hour or two. The post-gazette at http://www.post-gazette.com or KDKA http://www.kdka.com are probably the best sources for info. I think some of this is being a big overdramatized though, yeah if your car is in an underground garage around Gateway or lower Penn Ave. life is sucking right now but besides that most everything else survived unscathed.

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