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Flash flooding kills at least three in Pittsburgh

By Daniel Lovering

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - Flash flooding killed at least three people in Pittsburgh on Friday when heavy rains submerged cars in flood water that was nine feet deep in places, authorities said.

The three victims, identified as a woman and two children, died after their vehicle was pinned against a tree on Washington Boulevard and they were unable to escape, Michael Huss, the city's public safety director, said in a press conference broadcast in part on local KDKA-TV.

"We have crews that are continuing to search," he said.

Huss said the water was more than nine feet deep in some areas along the road, which is near the banks of the Allegheny River. An elderly woman remains unaccounted for, he said.

Some 18 cars were stranded in the flooding and 11 people had to be rescued, according to local media reports.

Accuweather.com said rescue crews had used inflatable rafts to reach stranded drivers. Power was out to 8,400 customers.

Earlier, the National Weather Service had issued a flash flood watch for Allegheny County as storms pounded the area.

(Writing by Cynthia Johnston. Editing by Peter Bohan)