Monongahela River Flooding Causes Moderate Damages
Washington PA Observer-Reporter
5 March 2015
By Scott Beveridge, Staff Writer
The rain-swelled Monongahela River caused scattered flooding and
damages ranging from minor to moderate across Washington and
Greene counties as a heavy snowstorm moved into the region
Thursday night and Friday.
A Mon River tributary, Pigeon Creek, also spilled its banks,
sending water into an Monongahela office plaza, while the river
rose the highest in the Point Marion area to the south. “The
flooding was sporadic,” said Washington County Public Safety
Director Jeff Yates.
“Those folks are self-sufficient down there,” Yates said.
“They know what to expect and take care of things.”
Freezing temperatures Thursday, accompanied by a strong snowstorm,
slowed the snowmelt and prevented the flooding from worsening, the
National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said. “For the Mon,
we’re pretty much good,” said weather service meteorologist Fred
He said there would be a gradual warming trend without rain
through the weekend, which should result in a gradual snowmelt.
Washington County received between 5 and 9 inches of snow by
Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, Waynesburg saw 9 inches of snow and
smaller amounts in other parts of the county, McMullen said.
Area schools, including California University of Pennsylvania,
canceled classes, and the morning commute was difficult for many.
A tractor-trailer crashed on Interstate 70 near Bentleyville at
about 5 a.m. Thursday, briefly closing the highway.
A truck went off Webster Avenue and traveled down a 125-foot
embankment into Ten Mile Creek in Clarksville shortly after 11
p.m. Wednesday, according to Greene County Emergency Management
Director Greg Leathers. The names of the driver and two passengers
were not available, but none was injured.
McMullen said ice from smaller streams “flowed out” Wednesday
night into the Monongahela River. Ice still covered the Allegheny
River Thursday. “That’s another problem to worry about,”
The river rose even higher than flooding predictions in parts of
Washington and Greene counties by Thursday morning, causing
moderate damage in low-lying areas, the National Weather Service
The river crested at 33.5 feet at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Locks and Dam No. 4 in Charleroi, closing the Mon to navigation.
The river reaches flood stage there when its depth tops 28 feet.
The weather service initially expected the river in Charleroi to
crest at 32 feet.
The river crested at 27.9 feet in the Point Marion area, marking
the seventh-highest level on record and the worst flooding there
since January 1996, the weather service posted on Twiter. Floods
begin to cause major damage to Fayette and Greene counties in that
area when the river depth reaches 28 feet.
There was minor flooding reported at Grays Landing Lock and Dam in
While the flood warning wasn’t expected to be lifted until late
Thursday or early today, the river had begun to recede across both
counties by 7 a.m. Thursday, the weather service reported.
The river spilled its banks Wednesday night during heavy rain
mixed with a rapid snow melt. A Washington County 911 supervisor
said West Brownsville experienced the first flooding Wednesday
night. The flooding was widespread in Fayette City in Fayette
County, the weather service reported.
Yates said the county’s 911 called out an extra employee during
the flooding, expecting a busy night that never materialized.
“We weren’t that busy,” Yates said Thursday.
The state Department of Transportation reported several roads
closed in Washington and Greene counties as a result of flooding.