Winds damage trees, lines

| Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Arctic air funneled into the region on Wednesday night into Thursday bringing high gusting winds which toppled trees and knocked down wires causing area power outages.

In Ford City, the wind blew over a large maple causing damage to a section of the railing surrounding the John B. Ford statue in the park.

Jen Ray of Manor, who regularly attends Ford City Parks and Recreation meetings, said there has been discussion in the past about replacing the railing due to rusting.

“I have wanted to call PPG Foundation to seek help (with funding for the railing) because the borough doesn't have the money,” said Ray.

As borough workers began sawing sections of the fallen tree, a local beekeeper stopped by.

Ed Reitler of Manor was notified about a possible colony of dormant honeybees nesting inside a cavity of the toppled tree. He consulted with the borough workers about which section to saw through in order to save the bees.

He said he planned to take the portion of tree trunk encasing the hive and honeycomb, to overwinter at his residence.

But when they finally reached the cavity, the bees were missing and only four feet of crushed wax and honey remained.

The blast of frigid air caused several weather-related accidents in the area during morning hours, said state police in East Franklin.

According to West Penn Power's website, at least 675 customers in the county experienced power outages.

Approximately 2,000 customers of Central Electric Cooperatives (CEC) experienced power interruptions in portions of Clarion and Venango counties.

CEC also serves customers in areas of Armstrong, Allegheny, Butler, Forest and Mercer counties.

By Thursday afternoon, The National Weather Service reported winds gusting to 31 mph.

Temperatures for Friday are only expected to reach a high of 19 degrees with wind chills dipping as low as minus 4.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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