Pittsburgh, PA - Today, and through Wednesday, severe storms are forecasted within the Pittsburgh area. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is closely monitoring these storms. PWSA customers experiencing a basement sewage backup in their home or business or street flooding in their neighborhood are asked to report these events to our 24/7 Emergency Dispatch by calling (412) 255-2423, press 1.
To prepare for this week’s storms, PWSA crews spent most of Monday inspecting and cleaning catch basins in flood-prone areas including Ellsworth Avenue at Morewood Avenue in Shadyside, Hayson Avenue in Banksville, areas of Squirrel Hill, Dithridge Street at Webster Hall and South Neville Street in Oakland, and South Henley Drive near Riverview Park in the Northside.
Heavy rainfall combined with wastewater can cause our sewer system to become overwhelmed, resulting in basement backups, flooded streets, and raw sewage spilling into our rivers. If you should experience a basement backup or flooding, please follow these tips to keep your family and loved ones safe and protect your home or business.
Tips for Street or Overland Flooding
During heavy storms, water can quickly submerge streets, sidewalks, create hazardous conditions for motorists and pedestrians, and leak into buildings through cracks in foundations, doorways, and windows. If you see overland flooding occurring, please call 911 and then report to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority by calling our 24/7 Emergency Dispatch (412) 255-2423, press 1.
Several flood preparedness tips are provided on our website.
- Keep an emergency supply of bottled water and non-perishable food on hand in case of service outages.
- If you need to evacuate, do so immediately and follow posted evacuation routes set by first responders
- Never walk, swim, or drive through flooded waters – turn around don’t drown!
- If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay inside. If water is rising in the vehicle, then seek refuge on the roof.
- If trapped in a building, go to its highest level going onto the roof only if necessary
The number of severe rain events has increased significantly over the last decade in Pittsburgh, with more severe rainstorms from 2010-2018 than the previous 40 years combined. With climate change and the increase in intense storms, this will only get worse. We can’t stop the rain, but we can use innovative solutions to absorb, capture, and slow the flow of rainwater before it enters our overburdened sewer system.
“Our top priority is to protect our customers’ health and safety,” said Will Pickering, CEO of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. “Heavy storms are increasingly common in Pittsburgh and it’s important that we all take the necessary precautions to keep our families, loved ones, and homes safe. Please call our Emergency Dispatch to report occurrences of flooding and basement backups.”