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Thunderstorms down trees, utility lines in Armstrong County

| Thursday, June 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Severe thunderstorms tore through Armstrong County on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving behind a slew of downed trees and utility lines.

The powerful system rolled in about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, doing much of its damage in the area before 9 p.m. with fire and ambulance personnel responding during that span to more than 20 reports of down trees and lines in Bethel, Burrell, Cowanshannock, Gilpin, Kittanning, Leechburg, Manor Township, North Buffalo, Parks, Rayburn, South Buffalo and Valley Township.

West Penn Power, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., reported more than 13,000 customers in Western Pennsylvania without power Tuesday evening.

Rain and heavy winds continued in some parts of the county overnight, leaving some residents in the dark through Wednesday morning.

As of about noon Wednesday, West Penn Power reported about 20 continued disruptions in the Kittanning area and others in the southern end of the county. Most were repaired before 2 p.m., according to a map on the company's website.

Parker-based Central Electric Cooperative, which had reported at least 1,000 customers without power in its seven-county region Tuesday night, had returned service to all but 60 as of early Wednesday afternoon. Central Electric also announced a peak energy alert and asked customers to conserve power until 6 p.m. because of increased demand.

Reports of trees and wires down continued coming into Armstrong 911 throughout Wednesday, and forecasts call for more thunderstorms in the area through late Thursday.

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or tkaran@tribweb.com.

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