Rainfall floods roads across area

Depending on what part of Blair County you were in on Thursday, you might have had to take an alternate route home from work or simply stay put until the rain and water on the roads subsided.

At least 20 local roads were closed Thursday afternoon, Blair County Emergency Management Agency Director Dan Boyles said. He didn’t have an official tally because he was more involved with responding, or “getting people freed up” who tried to drive through flooded roads, he said.

He noted specifically that Route 866 was closed down going into Martinsburg from Route 22, and Route 36 between Hollidaysburg and Altoona was closed.

To Boyles, it seemed storm drains were getting overloaded or covered up with debris, which caused flooding, he said.

However, Boyles had no power outages or residential flooding to report, so his worst fears, he said, were avoided.

Altoona Fire Station No. 1 and the Hollidaysburg base of the Pheonix Volunteer Fire Company were emptied Thursday afternoon as firefighters responded to flooding.

While storm drains overflowed, the last Altoona Water Authority worker in the office Thursday about 3 p.m. said water had not caused an overflow problem requiring manholes to be pumped.

PennDOT spokeswoman Tara Callahan-Henry said the Blair County PennDOT maintenance department crews worked to clear roads where water collected.

“We have crews out checking the roads and cleaning and sweeping because there is probably debris,” she said.

At about 4 p.m., Boyles reported streams in the Morrisons Cove area were receding and the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River “are holding their own.”

“We are out of it,” he said. “It’s headed toward Centre County.”

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.