High winds may have contributed to fall
A tree split nearly in half and fell on the McKeesport home of Beulah Park United Methodist Church's the Rev. Kathleen Barnhart on Friday morning.
Church secretary Caryl Randolph said she was dog-sitting Barnhart's rottweiler-husky mix, Bear, when she heard a crash around 3:45 a.m. at the house, in the 1500 block of Grandview Avenue.
Barnhart was away on vacation, and no injuries were reported.
“The dog and I just started running 'cause we didn't know what was going on,” Randolph said. “When I discovered what had happened, I just made the necessary calls.”
The tree fell across the front steps, breaking a railing and crushing shrubbery. A few top branches went onto the roof of the two-story structure. The front porch roof absorbed most of the damage, with the tree knocking off shingles and gutters.
Randolph said she told Barnhart what happened.
“Everyone is safe and the pastor is still enjoying her vacation,” Randolph said. “Beulah's a pretty popular church with a large membership, and a lot of the members live right here in the area. You know how word travels, and I didn't want her to hear it from anyone else. I knew she would have been worried about Bear. We have been in communication, and she is well aware that her tree is now on her porch.”
Resident Luann Hill lives across the street from the damaged home. Hill said she did not hear the crash, just the wind.
“The wind must have been around 70 to 80 mph,” Hill said. “I thought my siding was (going to) go.”
The National Weather Service said the storms produced winds of up to 60 mph and heavy rains as they moved through Pittsburgh and surrounding areas on Friday morning.
The fallen tree narrowly missed power lines, and nothing inside the home was reported to be damaged.
Randolph said the church's insurance company, Church Mutual, was contacted and an adjuster will visit the house.
“They were very helpful, very concerned,” Randolph said.
McKeesport police reported a tree down along the 400 block of Marshall Drive sometime early Friday morning. No injuries were reported.
Duquesne Light spokesman Brian Knavish said all of his utility's customers were expected to have power back by Friday evening. About 3,000 customers were without power as of Friday morning. Crews worked around the clock making repairs.
Knavish said the company received reports of 76 downed wires, 25 reports of tree limbs in wires and several reports of downed utility poles.
West Penn Power also had numerous outages. As of Friday evening, a handful of problems remained in Elizabeth, Forward Township, Jefferson Hills and the Westmoreland City section of North Huntingdon Township.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Special events planned as part of Kennywood’s 2015 season
- Some ONE Homestead housing units almost ready for occupancy
- No apology coming for Steel Valley teachers
- County reiterates support for Pangburn Hollow overhaul
- Elizabeth Forward honors 6 for state Special Olympics medals
- Greenock kids learn 3 R’s of Earth Day
- McKeesport to get overhaul via 9 beautification projects
- Political signs line Mon-Yough streets at election time
- Steel Valley board OKs no-tax-hike spend plan
- Old New England Elementary School sale approved by West Mifflin Area board
- Elizabeth Forward changes delinquent tax collectors