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Storm downs trees, knocks out power in Murrysville

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:42 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murr
Motorists on Sardis Road dodge broken trees and fallen branches. Severe storms and high winds kept Murrysville road crews busy Wednesday night removing fallen trees and debris from the municipality's roadways. According to officials over 50 trees were reported down during the early evening storm front that passed through the area. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murr
A huge pine tree blocks a portion of Sardis Road, nearly missing several motorists. Severe storms and high winds kept Murrysville road crews busy Wednesday night removing fallen trees and debris from the municipality's roadways. According to officials over 50 trees were reported down during the early evening storm front that passed through the area. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murr
A broken branch hangs on utility lines on Hills Church Road. Severe storms and high winds kept Murrysville road crews busy Wednesday night removing fallen trees and debris from the municipality's roadways. According to officials over 50 trees were reported down during the early evening storm front that passed through the area. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star

Debris, branches and more than 50 trees littered the streets of Murrysville on Wednesday evening after a severe thunderstorm swept through the region just after 6:30.

A large pine tree blocked access along Sardis Road about one block west of the municipal building, closing the road for several hours. Large sections of fallen trees and debris left at least five roads in the municipality impassable, Murrysville Councilman Rege Synan said. Among the obstructed roads were Crowfoot Road, Bulltown Road and a section of Wiestertown Road near Hilty Road. Trees also were down and blocking the intersection of Old William Penn Highway with Cline Hollow Road and Laurel Drive.

Power was out to traffic lights along Old William Penn Highway and Route 22, and police said there were power outages throughout the municipality.

Synan said a tree fell on power lines along Wilcox Circle, where there were reports that a transformer caught fire.

Westmoreland County remains under a flash flood watch until Thursday at 6 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Debris and the downed tree branches were evidence of the evening's high winds, which wreaked havoc on trees throughout the municipality. In Latrobe, at the National Weather Service's closest wind-reporting station to Murrysville, winds of 48 mph were recorded at 7 p.m.

Municipal police asked residents to stay off of the roads until debris is cleared.

The evening storm was the second time public works crews were called into action on Wednesday. A morning storm downed trees across the municipality, including one into a car at the intersection of Logan Ferry Road and Ridgemont Court.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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