Etna issues evacuation notice due to severe flooding

ETNA, Pa. — The Borough of Etna issued an evacuation order when Pine Creek reached 14 feet. Overnight, the high water ran into dozens of homes and businesses.

>>> PHOTOS: Flash flooding conditions across western Pennsylvania as storms move through

“It’s ridiculous,” said Brennan Fugh. “Back-to-back weeks. Back-to-back floods down in the basement.”

Brennan Fugh and Jeffrey Bonnette work at Alioto’s. They said there was about two feet of water in the restaurant’s basement.


“Luckily enough, the Etna Fire Department was here pumping it out this morning,” said Fugh.

Bonnette says he was just leaving work for the night when he heard the borough’s evacuation sirens go off.

“I’ve never heard them before,” said Bonnette. “It was pretty cool hearing them, but it was kind of scary.”

Chief Greg Porter says they test the sirens throughout the year. But prior to these last two storms, it had been about two years since they were last activated.

“In the case of the last couple of weeks, unfortunately, we have had to activate those sirens a few times,” said Etna Fire Chief Greg Porter. “It does what it’s intended to do. It gets people’s attention and directs them to go find additional information.”

Chief Porter says in the last 24 hours, the Etna Fire Department says it’s responded to dozens of calls from car crashes to water rescues.

“It wasn’t like pulling people out of swift water, but they did get people out of cars and out of businesses that were stuck in flood waters,” said Porter.

Porter says they were originally sharing resources with harder-hit areas of Allegheny County.

“In the case of last night, the west part of the city, West Hills, Carnegie, South Fayette, Oakdale really got the brunt of that first so we had resources running that way and then ultimately around midnight we had to call some of those resources back because we were approaching a pretty high water mark,” said Porter.

“Need to get some sunshine going,” said Bonnette. “Too much rain recently. Yeah, it’s been crazy. I don’t know where this rain is coming from.”

The Salvation Army donated clean-up kits. If you live in Etna and were impacted by flooding you can pick one of those kits up at the municipal building.

Etna currently has one siren, but they’re planning on adding a second one on the west side of town sometime this year.

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