200 PA homes affected

Weekend flooding affected more than 200 homes in western Pennsylvania.

BY HEATHER MOYER | BEAVER FALLS, Penn. | May 24, 2004



"I'm waiting on more damage information, but it is certainly a mess."

—Sharyn Critchlow


Weekend flooding affected more than 200 homes in western Pennsylvania. Beaver and Lawrence Counties took the brunt of the heavy rain's effects.

"We've just started assessing damages with the state officials, but so far we have over 200 homes affected in the county," said Beaver County Emergency Management Director Wes Hill. "Those homes go from minor damages to completely destroyed."

Friday night's downpours sent a normally tame creek flooding from its banks. The Little Beaver Crick swelled very quickly, growing 200 to 300 feet wide in some parts. "It was definitely a flash flood," said Hill. "We had to rescue 30 people from their homes that night."

Darlington Township was hardest hit, but many other townships were affected as well, he added.

Just north of Beaver County, preliminary damage estimates show more than 20 homes affected in the Lawrence County communities of Enon Valley, Little Beaver, and New Beaver.

"I'm still waiting on more damage information, but it is certainly a mess," said Sharyn Critchlow, director of Lawrence County Emergency Management. "Residents are saying they've never seen flooding like this before."

Critchlow and Hill said both counties are receiving help from The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the state Conservation Corps, and local volunteers.

"We already have lots of volunteer groups looking to come in and help," said Hill. "The community's doing well so far." Yet he added that more help will be needed since many people in the area didn't have flood insurance.

Up in Lawrence County, the insurance outlook is more positive. "Many residents did have flood insurance, and we were surprised by that," said Critchlow.

In any case, Critchlow said the community is pulling together well. "All kinds of people are helping out on their own."

Damage assessments in both counties will continue this week.


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