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Ice, wind bring down lines across Fayette

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Traffic on Route 119 is forced to exit at Gallatin Avenue because downed live wires blocked the highway near Penn State Fayette The Eberly Campus on Monday March 18, 2013.

A combination of ice and gusty winds on Monday brought down several utility poles in Fayette County, including one that left wires down across Route 119 near the Penn State Fayette campus in North Union.

About 5,000 West Penn Power customers were without power at the peak of the outages, company spokesman Todd Meyers said.

“It was sort of an odd combination of about a quarter-inch of ice coating lines and poles, and we had some pretty strong gusts of wind,” Meyers said.

In the Route 119 incident, two utility poles fell, bringing lines down across the four-lane highway around noon. The incident caused about 1,100 customers to lose power.

Crews had restored power to most of those customers and removed the wires from the roadway by 3 p.m., Meyers said.

Similar large outages occurred in the areas around Fairchance, York Run and the east side of Uniontown, he said.

Most customers had their power restored by late afternoon, but Meyers anticipated scattered outages would remain throughout the night.

Meyers said crews from Washington, Butler and Westmoreland counties were brought in to assist in Fayette after the utility determined they weren't needed in their home areas.

Jennifer Reeger is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or jreeger@tribweb.com.

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