NWS: Microburst damaged Quicksilver Golf Club as storms walloped region | TribLIVE.com

NWS: Microburst damaged Quicksilver Golf Club as storms walloped region

Tawnya Panizzi
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Numerous trees were knocked down in the Vandergrift area when a severe rainstorm blew through Thursday evening.
Courtesy of Pam Daugherty
Water covers Greensburg Road in Plum during heavy rains on Thursday, June 27, 2019.
Courtesy of Pam Daugherty
Water from heavy rains on Thursday, June 27, 2019, runs from Greensburg Road in Plum and through Pam Daugherty’s property.
Courtesy of WPXI-TV
An uprooted tree lays near the 17th hole at Quicksilver Golf Club after strong storms blew through the region on Thursday, June 27, 2019.
This National Weather Service graphic shows a dounburst hitting a portion of Washington County. Winds of 70 mph felled trees and otherwise caused damage.

Strong storms moved through the region Thursday night, packing a wallop and leaving trees down, roads blocked and activities canceled — even delivering a wallop to a Washington County golf course.

“It was a strong microburst,” Shannon Hefferan, a meteorologist the National Weather Service in Moon, said of the cell that downed several trees at the Quicksilver Golf Club in McDonald.

The National Weather Service said there was a microburst within a one-mile radius of the golf course around 4:30 p.m. A microburst is a downdraft inside a thunderstorm that is usually less than 2.5 miles in diameter, according to the weather service.

That storm sent winds estimated at 70 mph on the golf club, added NWS Meteorologist Myranda Fullteron on Friday afternoon.

Strong wind gusts over 57 mph also knocked down trees in Vandergrift, Hefferan said.

The weather service issued early calls for severe weather before 5 p.m. for residents in Plum and Monroeville, but thunderstorms continued to roll through Allegheny County well past 8 p.m.

There was a risk of severe thunderstorms mid-afternoon through Saturday night across the region, Fullteron said.

Thursday’s storm was enough to topple a 40-foot tree in Lou and Pam Daugherty’s yard along Greensburg Road near Myers Road in Plum.

But it wasn’t the wind that concerned them the most. It was the torrent of runoff pouring down Old Leechburg Road across the street from their house.

With catch basins blocked with debris, Greensburg Road looked more like a pond, with the water spilling down the Daughertys’ driveway and yard on its way to Puckety Creek behind their house.

“You should have seen it. At one point it was almost to the top of the mailboxes,” Lou Daugherty said.

Penn Hills also was hit, with Universal Road still blocked this morning because of downed wires.

About 200 Duquesne Light customers were without power Friday morning, according to the utility’s website. This morning, there were about 100 customers in Lincoln Borough without service but most have been restored. Across the region, there are about 300 total customers still without electricity.

By noon, only 85 customers were without electricity. Most, 35, were at Penn Hills, and 16 accounts were in McKeesport.

Likewise, First Energy’s website reported about 150 customers without service.

The storms appeared to be fast-moving but left much damage.

By 3 p.m. all but about 20 scattered outages remained in Westmoreland and Butler counties.

In Jefferson Hills, a downed tree closed Coal Valley Road between Route 837 and 885.

Kennywood closed at 5:15 p.m. Thursday. Users posted photos of the entrance tunnel flooded at the amusement park, but Kennywood officials reported that the water typically recedes quickly after the heavy rains stop.

”We actually closed because of overall weather patterns for the afternoon and evening,” a post on Kennywood’s website read.

In Vandergrift, storms caused localized flooding. Vandergrift police said weather-related calls inundated the department between 5 and 7 p.m. Police said firefighters and public works crews were out most of the evening removing fallen trees and large branches.

No injuries were reported.

Westmoreland County emergency officials reported no significant instances of flooding or damage related to the storms.

PennDOT District 12 spokeswoman Valerie Petersen said there were no significant storm clean-up issues along the Route 56 bypass outside Vandergrift.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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