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Allegheny County spared major damage in Super Storm; Eyes on Mon River



PITTSBURGH - Allegheny County was spared any major damage when Super Storm Sandy moved through the area Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Officials said they're now keeping a close watch on the Monagahela River, which could continue to rise over the next coming days.

Experts said snow melt in the mountains could cause the river to flood into the Mon Wharf, which has been shut down.

 'What's happening in West Virginia could impact that. With that much snow they have had down there and heavy rains on top of that, it will affect what happens in the Mon River," Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said.

Overnight, strong winds and rain pounded the area and left behind downed power lines and debris on roadways.

"City workers did a great job responding swiftly over night to downed trees and flash flooding," Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. "While the worst of the storm appears to be over, residents must remain cautious as the risk of flash flooding in some areas still remains."

At the Allegheny County 911 operations center, officials said most of the calls they received were to report downed trees.

"As of right now we've dodged a bullet," said Fitzgerald.

Channel 11's Dave Bondy reported that Girty's Run Creek in Millvale, the site of major flooding during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, was stable.

A high wind warning was canceled just before 6 a.m. Severe Weather Team meteorologist Kevin Benson said winds will diminish throughout the day as rain continues.

Coal Hollow Road in Penn Hills between Verona Road and Frankstown Road was shut down after reports of a mud slide.

Swift water rescue crews were sent to Streets Run Road and to routes 51 and 88 overnight for water on the roadway, officials said. Barricades have been placed at both locations and drivers are asked to avoid those areas.

Public Works crews said the creek near routes 51 and 88 remained high Tuesday morning. Officials said they are closely monitoring those areas. The roads remain open.

As of noon, Duquesne Light officials said about 650 customers were without power. Officials said crews are in the process of restoring power to those affected.

West Penn Power officials said about 7,500 customers were without service Tuesday morning.

Officials remind residents that downed wires are a safety hazard and should be avoided. Residents should not drive over or go near any downed wires.

There was no word on when the power would be restored.