PITTSBURGH – At a briefing this morning at the Emergency Operations Center, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Emergency Services Chief Alvin Henderson and County Manager William D. McKain expressed relief that the region was not hit as hard as expected, and credited that response to the preparation and training by the Emergency Operations Center and emergency responders.
“Allegheny County and this region was very fortunate that the storm turned and slowed down last night,” said County Executive Fitzgerald. “We had no loss of life, ordered no evacuations, did not have to open any shelters, and found that all parties addressed and responded to issues quickly. I am very proud of the preparation and response of the staff and emergency responders who were on the front lines yesterday and overnight.”
The Executive and Chief Henderson also announced that, barring any change in conditions, the Emergency Operations Center will be deactivated at 4 p.m. today. Staffing at the County 9-1-1 Center will also begin stepping down coverage, returning to normal staffing by the night turn shift at 11 p.m. The Declaration of Emergency will also remain in effect for the time being.
“The emergency declaration will remain in effect as we continue to monitor conditions today,” said Chief Henderson. “We will determine at the end of business today whether it needs lifted. Obviously, by keeping the declaration in place, we can continue to provide help to our neighbors.”
As part of that cooperation, three Type 3A Swift Water Response Teams had been deployed to central Pennsylvania and were awaiting assignment. This morning, the teams were briefed and are being sent to one of two locations – Hackensack, New Jersey or the Bronx, New York – to assist in response.
Most issues coming in to County 9-1-1 were related to power outages, downed trees and residential flooding. The latest report is that the storm is slowly weakening as it drafts to the west. Winds in Allegheny County are gusting below 35 MPH. There will also be a slow easing of the wind as we go through the day today.