Flood maps and flood protection references are available at the municipal building in the flood library section. There is no charge for the photocopying of this info. Reference material is also available at the Shaler North Hill Library on Mt. Royal Blvd. -
Flooding in Etna can be caused by three direct sources: West Little Pine Creek, Pine Creek and the Allegheny River. There are several “storm runs” in the Borough that can cause flooding in specific areas: the Park Avenue Storm Run; the Parker Street Storm Runs and the Ganster Street Storm Run.
When the Allegheny River crests beyond 26 feet, flooding occurs in the low lying areas of Sycamore and Cherry Streets but at higher crest levels can include Railroad/Middle Streets and the lower portion of Bridge Street (near Sycamore Street).
The United States Geological Service (USGS) has a stream gauge located in Pine Creek at the Crescent Avenue Bridge near Dewey Street. The Emergency Management Committee of the Borough has this gauge link on their cell phones so that it can be monitored from anywhere by that Committee. This committee consists of the Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC), the Assistant EMC, the Mayor, Police and Fire Chiefs, and the Borough Manager. When this gauge hits thirteen feet, flooding is a high probability and over thirteen feet, flooding can be eminent. Benchmarks have been preset, which activate the Borough’s Flood Warning system, based on these gauges (which are not in exact real time – may be off by an hour) and predicted forecasts. The gauges are listed here: Two for Pine Creek in Etna – one is the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service and the USGS and one for the Allegheny River at the Point – USGS. You can monitor the levels of these two waterways here. We have shared the bench marks in which the Borough begins to take action with our Flood Warning System which follows, but you can monitor these gauges yourself and when the waters are rising but not at these benchmark levels and continued rain is predicted, you may choose to take steps in anticipation of possible flooding, such as moving items from your basement, plugging sewers, sand bagging or leaving the area until the threat has passed.
Flooding can occur through several routes in our community, either by overflowing of the creek or river banks, the overflowing of storm water runoff culverts or by sewer system overload and backup. Dumping and littering adds to potential problems. Because we are a combined sewer community (sanitary and storm water are combined in the same piping system), littering on the street can be washed into the storm catch basins during a rain event. This can clog up the sewer system and take up vital space for the storm and sanitary flow. PLEASE DO NOT LITTER.
Maintenance of the drainage systems is critical in helping prevent or minimize the severity of flooding. The "runs" that are discussed in the "flood protection information" sheet are inspected quarterly and after every rainfall by the Public Works Department. This includes removing any debris, i.e., fallen trees, rocks, and other trash. Even the buildup of dirt and mud needs to be removed on a regular basis. It is crucial that residents do not add to the natural buildup by throwing any debris into these runs, over hillsides, and creek banks. This includes trees in a precarious situation (in jeopardy of falling). Anyone caught doing such, will be cited and fined.