Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Trash left behind at Point State Park and Mon Wharf parking garage after flood

Photo by Cilia Catello
A mask, needle and other trash floats in the Mon River last week.

The Mon Wharf parking garage and Point State Park flooded last Monday because of persistent showers and melting snow, leaving items from the homeless encampment in the Mon Wharf behind.


Pittsburgh’s fire department rescued an individual in the flooded wharf. The individual was not harmed.


Pittsburgh sees routine flooding during the months of February and March that usually affect the Mon Wharf parking garage and Point State Park, which are located along the Monongahela River.


Keith Paylo, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, said the flooding was a “big news” story.


“It kind of coincided with the grant that the government gave to the city of Pittsburgh to fix what they call ‘the bathtub,’ which is Route 376 that has flooded famously for years,” Paylo said.


Paylo went on to tell a personal anecdote about a past university employee whose car was pulled into the river during a flood.


“Certain people got down there, and there was no way to get up the ramp ,so they watched their cars get totally overtaken,” Paylo said. “When this individual opened his car door, there was literally a fish in his car.”


When asked about where students should park their cars, Paylo said, “Avoid the Mon Wharf for sure.”


According to the University of Pittsburgh, the Monongahela river reaches speeds of up to 25,000 cubic feet per second. This speeding force displaced the unhoused residents of the Mon Wharf and Fort Duquesne Bridge encampments as well as their belongings.


Amongst the sticks that washed up on the steps of Point State Park, there were also needles, clothing, shoes, tents and pounds of empty plastic bottles.


“There was so much garbage, like there were leftover needles and stuff, it was crazy,” Percy Stoddard, a freshman forensic science major, said. 


Landon Laskoski, a cinema productions major, said seeing all the trash made them “sad.”


“There was an insane amount of garbage, and it honestly makes me sad because there was so much filth,” Laskoski said. 


According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the garbage that the flood absorbed into the Monongahela river is considered aquatic trash. The aquatic trash then begins its journey into the ocean, making it marine debris.


Aquatic trash and marine debris affect water quality, harm plants and animals and contribute to pollution.


The trash on the land also contributes to pollution.


Public safety director Lee Schmitt said it will take months to clean up the Mon Wharf.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Point Park Globe Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *