Thursday, June 3, 2010

Storm Brings Record Rainfall; Traffic Snarled

Power is gradually being restored to communities impacted by the strong thunderstorms Wednesday evening that brought heavy rain, hail and winds as high as 60 miles per hour.
The National Weather Service reports that 2.17 inches of rain fell in Pittsburgh yesterday breaking the old record for June 2nd of 1.05 inches set in 1946.
A tornado warning was issued for Allegheny, Beaver and Washington Counties but there was no confirmation of a funnel cloud touching down.
Duquesne light says as of 9 o'oclock this morning they had 4,500 customers without power, down from a high of 13,000. A spokesman says they expect power to be completely restored by midnight. The hardest hit areas are Beaver Falls, Munhall, New Brighton, New Homestead and Scott Township.
Allegheny Power had about 300 customers without service in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The storm knocked out power inside the Fort Pitt Tunnels. Traffic inbound on the Parkway West is backed from the tunnels to Interstate 79. The electronic message signs and 71 traffic cameras were knocked out of service. PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi says they can't alert motorists to the backups or even to turn on their vehicle lights as they approach the darkened tunnel. Struzzi says there is no estimate as to when the lights will be on again because they are having difficulty locating the source of the outage.

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