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Flooding Kills Two In Pennsylvania

July 20, 1996

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Gov. Tom Ridge has declared eight counties disaster areas after flash floods killed two people, caused millions of dollars in damage and forced evacuations.

Two-year-old Harley Brumbaugh died late Friday after she fell into a rain-swollen creek behind a relative’s house in Bedford County.

Marguerite Crossmore, 73, died as she and her husband tried to flee their flood-stricken trailer home in Shippenville early Friday.

More than 750 homes were damaged and nine destroyed in western Pennsylvania as more than 4 inches of rain fell in some areas.

Floods fed by severe thunderstorms swept away eight bridges and submerged 22 others, while state roads and bridges in the worst-hit areas suffered an estimated $20 million in damage, said John Comey, of the state’s Emergency Management Agency.

A detailed damage assessment was planned for Sunday as a step toward a possible request for federal assistance.

About 75 residents of a nursing home in Punxsutawney were evacuated when rising waters threatened the facility. The town’s sewage system was submerged and disabled, Comey said.

The Ohio River in Pittsburgh was expected to crest at 26 feet, one foot above flood stage, by 5 p.m. today.

Jean Karns, who lives on a hill along the banks of the Red Bank Creek in New Bethlehem, sat on her porch and watched mobile homes, pieces of houses, lawn furniture, and training pads from the high school track float by.

``I’ve lived here 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,″ she said.

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