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Heavy rains flood roads

July 29, 2017 GMT

High water from heavy rain that fell across Washington and Greene counties Friday afternoon caused problems for motorists, swamped cars in parking lots, and flooded basements.A portion of East Beau Street in Washington was closed between North Avenue and College Street, where stormwaters flooded more than a dozen cars in a parking lot below Church of the Covenant about 5 p.m.A motorist who unwittingly drove into high water on Beau abandoned his car and waded through waist-deep water to reach higher ground.The man, who declined to be identified, said he was driving home when torrential rain began to fall.“I saw water, but it didn’t look that bad,” he said. “It was raining so hard, I couldn’t see much. It came up real quick.“Flash flooding made other roads impassable or difficult to drive through in parts of Washington County, including East Washington, Eighty Four and Wolfdale.“We’re busy,” said city fire department Capt. Jerry Coleman, noting the fire department fielded more than 90 flood-related calls before 8:30 p.m. “The usual roads that flood were flooded, but the rain came down so quickly and so hard that houses with sump pumps and roads that usually can handle it couldn’t handle it.“Coleman said the Red Cross of Southwestern Pennsylvania was en route to provide clean-up kits to residents.Washington County Department of Public Safety and neighboring fire departments that weren’t as hard-hit were providing pumps and other equipment to help homeowners remove water.On Houston Street in the city, water flooded the first floor of several homes.For the second time in just over a month, Washington Park pool was inundated with mud.“It’s disheartening. It’s really an act of God, nothing could be done about it,” said city councilman Joe Manning. “As soon as we found out, we thought, ‘Here we go again.’“Manning said council meet to discuss all options for the pool, which include draining the water and then refilling and adding chemicals, which costs about $7,000, or closing it for the season.“We still have all of August and part of September, and we’ll have to see what we can afford. Our budget took a hit the first time we drained (the pool),” said Manning.Washington & Jefferson College’s Cameron Stadium football field also was under water.The eastern portion of Greene County was especially hard hit, according to Greene County 911, including Rices Landing and Carmichaels.Firefighters from several Greene County fire departments responded to calls of flooded basements and reports of flooded roads.A flash flood watch was in effect for Washington and Greene counties through 1 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.The NWS estimated 2 ½ inches of rain fell in parts of Washington County, flooding streams, low-lying spots and poor draining areas in several locations, including California, Brownsville and Deemston.The NWS said heavy rains - as much as three inches in some spots - may hit the region overnight, causing more flooding.“We’re not going anywhere,” said Coleman. “We’ll be here.”