On Thursday this street was completley flooded leaving at least a dozen cars underwater. Altoona’s fire chief told me the city did all they could but it still left many homes impacted.
Gabrielle Genua purchased this new car about six months ago and keeps it parked along 21st street in Altoona.
That’s one of the spots hit the hardest by Thursday’s flood waters and her car was totaled.
“We’re going to have to get another car. We’re going to have to save up for the other car. No matter what, this is going to be a huge setback for us.”
Tim Hileman, the fire chief & emergency management coordinator for the city of Altoona, said about 50 homes were impacted by the flood.
“I understand their anger in losing those things, but when a storm sits over the city like that, unfortunately our system just couldn’t handle that much water at one time,”
We asked the vice mayor of Altoona, Dave Butterbaugh, if anything more could’ve been done to prevent it.
“Could anything have been done better? Or do you feel like the way you handled it was okay? We are still looking into that, but sometimes it’s just an act of god where you get this micro
storm that hits and pinpoints in one area. The system didn’t fail, but the amount of rain was more than the system could handle.”
Insurance groups were seen Thursday assessing vehicles along 21st Street for flood damages.
Genua said they’ve had flooding on their street before that was never this bad, but she told the city about it and nothing was done.
“We saved up over a year of our own money and put down 10 grand on this car. Now the 10 grand is for nothing.”
Altoona’s fire chief told me he’s proud of the public works department for all the hard work they put in but they’ll still be spending the next few days cleaning up.