Heavy storms batter parts of Westmoreland, Fayette
A series of storms rumbled through Western Pennsylvania on Tuesday, packing winds that downed trees and power lines and dumped heavy rain that flooded basements.
A portion of a tree struck by lightning around 1 p.m. fell across Greensburg-Mt. Pleasant Road at West Laurel Circle in Norvelt, taking down electrical wires and blocking traffic for about 20 minutes, according to a dispatcher at Westmoreland 911.
Norvelt Volunteer Fire Department had the scene cleared by 1:30 p.m., the dispatcher said.
The downed electrical wires left about 350 FirstEnergy customers without power in Westmoreland and Fayette counties and parts of Allegheny, said Terri Knupp, the utility's area manager.
Sporadic outages remained Tuesday evening as crews worked to restore power.
A portion of Latrobe-Derry Road at Route 982 was reported to have washed out.
Firefighters in Derry Township were busy pumping out flooded basements.
A lightning strike was reported at 506 Agnew Road in Hempfield, but no fire was reported. There were no injuries.
Flooding was reported on Stewart, Ridge and Pandora roads, Blaney Drive and Hickory Avenue in Derry Township.
Bradenville Volunteer Fire Department reported that three roads were impassable because of 3 feet of water.
Numerous calls of flooded basements and roads and downed trees were reported throughout the afternoon.
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning that remained in effect until 9 p.m. Tuesday for Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. Heavy rains and gusty winds up to 60 mph were possible, the weather service said.
Wednesday's forecast calls for more rain, with up to a half-inch throughout the day.