ShareThis Page

Ducklings rescued, trees not so lucky after Armstrong storms

| Friday, June 20, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Multiple trees toppled and fell over utility lines, knocking out power, blocking roads and sending wildlife scurrying for shelter as strong storms blew through Armstrong County Wednesday night.

There were no reported injuries from the high winds, lightning and torrential rains.

However, five ducklings were rescued from a storm drain along Johnston Avenue in Kittanning just before the wicked weather moved in.

“Two little kids heard chirping coming from the grate and called 911 when they saw the ducklings,” said Jim Mechling, Kittanning Borough street supervisor.

“The mother must have waddled across the grate, and the babies fell through,” he said, noting that the mother duck was calling to her ducklings from a nearby wooded lot.

As soon as he fished the ducklings out, they ran to their mother and the shelter of the woods.

Mechling said it's likely rainwater gushing through the drain from the oncoming storm would have washed the birds away.

Armstrong 911 dispatch received at least 13 calls about wires down or trees blocking roadways. A 15-foot area of road was flooded in South Buffalo at Freeport and Striker roads, and several people reported a rock slide along Troy Hill in Rayburn.

“We had scattered storms over our seven-county region and experienced outages in every county,” said Chris O' Donnell, communications director of the Parker-based Central Electric Cooperative.

All 790 customers who were affected — including residents in Armstrong — had power restored by Thursday morning, O'Donnell said.

West Penn Power crews worked throughout the day Thursday to restore power to customers in Mahoning and South Buffalo.

“There is a pretty low likelihood of additional storms,” said Tim Axford, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Moon.

Wednesday's storms developed around Chicago and rode into the Pittsburgh area last night bringing 60-mph winds, he said.

“But the boundary has sagged off to the south,” Axford said. “We'll dry out tonight with another shot of showers tomorrow.”

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.