The Pittsburgh Police Department on Tuesday reported a spike in fatalities and injuries in the city during the worst night of its year.
The city reported 955 traffic deaths and 672 injuries during the week of January 3-5.
The most severe night of the year has been attributed to the overnight flooding.
The storm surge and rain has submerged roads, flooded streets and caused power outages.
It also caused road closures, shuttered schools and forced some businesses to close.
In a news release, the city said the increase in traffic deaths was a “big concern” for the department and the state.
The increase is also tied to the severe flooding, according to the news release.
The police department reported 7,086 traffic-related fatalities during the period, according the release.
It noted the number of people killed was up from 5,095 last year and the total number of fatalities was up 2,854 compared to 2015.
Police Commissioner Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday that the department will be reviewing how it tracks deaths.
He said it’s not just about one person who dies.
He says we have a long way to go before we’re there.
“It’s a big concern,” Gugluelmi told the Associated Press.
“I’ve been here 10 years, I’ve never seen anything like this.
I’ve been to some of the worst storms in the history of this state, and I’ve not seen anything that’s worse than this.”
The state Department of Transportation reported an increase of traffic deaths from the same time period last year.
That department also said the number was up 1,542 compared to last year’s record.
On Monday, the mayor of Pittsburgh told reporters that he’s concerned about the traffic deaths.
“We’ve been hit with a terrible storm and I think that we need to get this right,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.
“Our roads have been flooded.
We have to take it seriously.
And the fact that we’re seeing a surge in deaths is troubling.”
He added, “We are taking this very seriously.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Pettingill on Monday urged residents to take extra precautions in the wake of the flooding.
“There’s no doubt that the floods have hit us hard,” Pettingilm said.
But he added, we’ve got a lot of work to do.
“And we are working to make sure that we get this fixed as quickly as we possibly can.
I think everybody is aware that we are a city that’s been hit hard by this storm, and so we need every ounce of strength we can to try and get it fixed as soon as possible.”