Triangle - 2004
The Wrath of Hurricane Ivan
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This is the city of Pittsburgh on September 19, 2004, shortly after Hurricane Ivan dumped a record 5.95 inches of rain on the Pittsburgh region. The unprecedented record rainfall amount came only weeks after Hurricane Francis dumped a record 3.60 inches. With Ivan following so soon after Francis, the extreme saturation of the terrain left the water with nowhere to go, and widespread flooding occured both in the city proper and the nearby communities.
In the downtown area, the Ohio River crested at 31 feet, disastrous but far from catastrophic. The Point was inundated and water made it all the way to the bridge interchange. The Wharfs were flooded and the Parkway East was shut down. Runaway pleasure boats littered the riverfronts and Point State Park, but as bad as things were in the downtown area, the destruction paled in comparison to places like Carnegie.
The constant downpours of Ivan on the already saturated grounds left behind by Francis caused tributaries to overflow their banks, bringing flooding to parts of the region that had never before experienced it. In Carnegie for instance, Chartier's Creek overran its banks for the first time in history and the community was flooded with disastrous consequences. In some places the water reached a depth of over four feet. The state estimated flood damage to the region at more than 264 million dollars.
Considering the onslaught of two record rainfalls in a matter of a few weeks, it is difficult to imagine what the result would have been had the flood control measures taken after the St. Patrick's Day Flood of 1936 not been introduced.
* Photos by Justin Lauck *
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