Storm downs trees, power lines
A storm bearing high winds swept through Indiana County early this morning, felling trees and utility lines and leaving several hundred residents in the dark.
Roughly 329 Penelec customers in the county were without power as of 8:45 a.m., and most of those outages were concentrated in Indiana, Conemaugh Township, Saltsburg and East Wheatfield Township.
Meanwhile, REA Energy Cooperative reported that 400 customers were without power.
The cooperative said those outages were scattered throughout the county.
According to the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, the storm passed over the middle of the county around 4:17 a.m. and dumped on average one-third to one-half inch of rain. Wind gusts of up to roughly 30 mph were recorded at Jimmy Stewart Airport in White Township.
The winds brought down numerous trees and power lines, keeping firefighters busy this morning.
“It did a little damage to us,” said Indiana Fire Association Chief Chuck Kelly.
Kelly said firefighters fielded several calls related to fallen trees as well as an automatic fire alarm, which sounded at the former S.W. Jack building when the power went out, he said.
And in Blairsville, a power line fell down, and firefighters were waiting for a Penelec crew to arrive, said Chief George Burkley. He said his department also took calls in Derry, Westmoreland County.
Similar reports also came out of Rayne, Conemaugh and Buffington townships, among others.
The weather service said showers were to have ended this morning and drier air would be moving through this afternoon, allowing for some sunshine and seasonable temperatures.