Storms strong, but damage not widespread
Ferocious winds roared across parts of the Alle-Kiski Valley early on Friday, causing scattered power interruptions and outages.
Most of the storm damage happened in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties.
Duquesne Light reported as many as 100 customer service outages in Plum, the same number in O'Hara and 50 in Oakmont. West Penn Power reported minor outages in Harrison, Lower Burrell, Vandergrift, Tarentum and Allegheny Township. Almost all power was restored by early evening Friday. The National Weather Service said the storms produced winds up to 60 mph.
The storms were brief — taking only 20 or 30 minutes to move through most areas — but they caused widespread, though sporadic, power outages.
There were several reports of downed trees, including one that fell on the roof of a home on Millers Lane in Plum and another across Puckety Church Road in Lower Burrell near Burrell High School.
Plum School District delayed the start of classes for two hours.
Most of Westmoreland County sustained power interruptions at about 4 a.m., a county 911 dispatch supervisor said.
At its worst, the storm left 13,000 customer connections without power across the county. That was down to 9,230 at 8 a.m. and 6,152 at noon, said county public safety spokesman Dan Stevens.
The noontime numbers include 21 outages reported in Allegheny Township and 22 in Upper Burrell. The lion's share — about 1,100 — were in East Huntington and Hempfield with 485. In Allegheny Township, a large tree blocked Route 356 near Park Road, an entrance to Northmoreland Park, at about 4 a.m., Police Chief John Fontaine said. Volunteer firefighters were able to open one lane before 8 a.m., he said.
In Harrison, a big tree pulled down power lines along Burtner and Princeton roads, a township police dispatcher said.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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