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Electrical service restored on the heels of Mon-Yough storms

| Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 3:56 a.m.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
In Elizabeth Township, Mt. Vernon Cemetery superintendent Pete Kurka and Dwayne Rearick were busy cleaning up a number of large branches that came down during Sunday's storm.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
A felled tree had to be cut and cleared in the 1300 block of Greenock-Buena Vista Road in Elizabeth Township after Sunday's storms.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
In Elizabeth, heavy winds reportedly knocked down a section of bricks on the back side of a building along South Second Street.

Most Mon-Yough residents had electrical service restored by Monday afternoon after a wave of storms 24 hours before.

Those storms may have been the most severe of several waves of unsettled weather in advance of a cold front expected to bring September-like temperatures to the area on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to AccuWeather, storms still were forecast for McKeesport as late as 10 a.m. on Tuesday, but the area was taken off a list of those expecting severe storms between Nashville and the Eastern Seaboard.

The last of Sunday's outages involved a handful of FirstEnergy/West Penn Power customers along Lovedale Road in Lincoln.

The utility restored service there by Monday night, then went across the Monongahela River to tackle an outage along Walton Road in Jefferson Hills.

Service was restored by FirstEnergy/West Penn Power crews during the day on Monday along Boston Hollow and Harrison Hollow roads and Broadlawn Drive in the Lincoln and Elizabeth Township area.

Storms rolled through Allegheny and Westmoreland counties beginning on Sunday around 3 p.m. At Allegheny County Airport, 0.45 inches of rain was measured between 3 and 6 p.m., with another 0.13-inch rainfall measured on Monday between 1 and 2 p.m.

There were widespread but spotty reports of damage, including structural damage to a house along the 300 block of South Second Street in Elizabeth.

“We had more than 2,000 customers out (on Sunday) scattered throughout North Versailles (Township), McKeesport, Pleasant Hills and West Mifflin, with everyone being restored by (Monday) at 2:30 a.m.,” Duquesne Light spokesman Brian Knavish said.

Allegheny County emergency management officials said a fallen tree triggered a transformer fire along Greenock-Buena Vista Road in Elizabeth Township.

Trees were reported down on Sunday afternoon on power lines along streets in Clairton, Pleasant Hills, South Versailles Township, Lincoln and Elizabeth Township.

Dispatchers said multiple trees fell along Ridge Road near Greenock-Buena Vista Road and Rock Run Road in Elizabeth Township.

Fallen trees reportedly blocked roadways in Lincoln, Jefferson Hills and Clairton, as well as on Bunola River Road at Pangburn Hollow Road in Forward Township.

“We were fortunate ... this time,” Forward police Chief Mark Holtzman said.

Allegheny County dispatchers said lightning struck a swimming pool deck along Ashley Lane in a residential area of Jefferson Hills, but with no injuries reported.

The weekend's severe weather came just over a year after July 10, 2013, storms that flooded many communities in the lower Mon Valley.

Those storms prompted emergency declarations in 12 Allegheny County municipalities including Elizabeth, Jefferson Hills, Lincoln and West Elizabeth.

In Elizabeth, Fallen Timber Run and a feeder stream overflowed, damaging a section of Irwin Street and several homes.

In Jefferson Hills, borough officials estimated damage just to municipal properties at more than $200,000.

In November, President Obama added Allegheny to an earlier list of 10 counties covered by a disaster declaration because of June and July storms.

County Chief of Emergency Services Alvin Henderson said Allegheny met the minimum threshold of $4.2 million in costs for storms and flooding from June 26 through July 11.

According to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, storms visiting the Mon-Yough area and other parts of the Eastern United States since Sunday are being followed by a summertime version of the polar vortex that brought severe cold earlier this year.

“For folks in the East and the interior South hoping for a break in very warm and humid conditions, the pattern will bring a couple of days and nights of relief,” Sosnowski said.

Nighttime lows will be in the 50s and daytime highs in the 70s. More typical July highs in the 80s are expected to return early next week.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or

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