The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

August 29, 2013

Storm dumps nearly 2 inches of rain

Flooding cancels Meals on Wheels

By Herald staff

SHENANGO VALLEY — The late-summer storm that flashed and crashed across the Mercer County area around midnight and into early Wednesday forced the Meals on Wheels program to cancel Wednesday deliveries.

The program uses the kitchen at Christ Lutheran Church, 396 Buhl Blvd., Sharon, which was flooded.

“We have called all the clients and drivers and runners and we expect to resume (today),” Arlene Horkey, director of the service that has 125 clients, said Wednesday morning.

Paul Moore, president of the church council, said he called plumbers to clean building drains. Volunteers were cleaning the kitchen that had 2 or 3 inches of water on the floor, he said.

“We have a problem with this periodically but if we get someone to clean the drains out, we’ll get this cleared up and be back in business,” Moore said.

The storm that dropped 1.8 inches of rain at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant on Broadway Avenue caused minor flooding elsewhere, but didn’t cause major problems, 911 dispatchers and local safety forces said.

Sharon firefighters had reports of limbs knocked off trees but no reports of trees down.

Trees fell on the eastbound lanes of the Shenango Valley Freeway between Maple Drive and Kohl’s department store in Hermitage, and traffic was restricted from about 8 to 10 a.m. Wednesday while the mess was cleaned up, said PennDOT spokesman Jim Carroll.

Hermitage Fire Chief Robert S. Goeltz said firefighters received three other reports of trees that came down, all he called “minor incidents.”

The downpour temporarily overwhelmed storm drains and flooded some intersections in Sharon often affected by heavy rain.

“We didn’t have any reports of power outages,” Sharon police Chief Mike Menster said, “but there was some flooding at the usual locations.”

Among those were the intersections of Connelly Boulevard with Chestnut Street and Stambaugh Avenue and East State Street at Euclid Avenue.

Some of the black mulch recently placed under trees on East and West State streets as part of the ongoing streetscape improvement project was washed into streets and storm drains, particularly between Main Street and Irvine Avenue.

Sharon’s sanitary sewers “weathered the storm quite well,” said Guy Cunningham, manager of Sharon Sanitary Sewer Authority.

“We had one manhole cover pop off at Budd and Dock (streets),” he said. “That was on a stormwater line but the sanitary line we used to have a problem with didn’t pop.”

The authority has been running Sharon’s sanitary sewage system for about five years. Cunningham said crews clean lines regularly and that he had no reports of significant sanitary sewer backups from the storm.

Hermitage officials received no calls of sewer backups and the recently expanded plant handled any extra flow, said plant Superintendent Tom Darby.

In Farrell, the storm caused no major problems, City Manager Michael Ceci said.

Workers at the city’s sewage treament plan put in some extra hours to deal with the increased flow, Ceci said, but the system was able to handle the surge in flows.

Ceci said as of Wednesday afternoon no one reported any sewage backups into basements, as has happened previously in some areas of the city because Farrell’s storm sewers aren’t separated from its municipal sewage system.

The National Weather Service’s rain gauges at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, Vienna, registered 1.24 inches of water.