Westmoreland County hit hardest by unusual April snowstorm

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PITTSBURGH —

Several counties are under a winter weather advisory as snow blanketed several areas early Monday and continued to fall throughout the day.

Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Greene and Monongalia counties will remain under a winter weather advisory until 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Chief meteorologist Stephen Cropper said icy conditions are expected Monday night into Tuesday morning on roadways in Westmoreland County as wind chill temperatures around the area will be in the low 30s.

According to Severe Weather Team 11, snow in some areas will change back into rain by Tuesday morning’s rush hour commute.

Westmoreland County 911 dispatchers said they began receiving scattered reports of trees and wires down in Ligonier, Unity and Hempfield townships around 6 a.m. Monday.

Officials said the dangerous winds are causing tree limbs to break and fall on power lines, causing numerous problems.

Channel 11's Courtney Brennan reported that at 10:30 a.m. about 50,000 people were without power in Westmoreland County and 1,500 people were without power in Fayette County.

In Bullskin Township, Brennan reported that 7 to 10 inches of wet snow fell in the area, causing power lines to fall.

“We had three vehicle accidents and the rest of the reports have been trees down on wires,” Bullskin Township Assistant Fire Chief Kyle Quinn said.

Officials in Bullskin Township said they're worried about winds causing further damage.

“The lines are hanging down 2 or 3 feet below where they should be,” Quinn said. “We just keep knocking the snow off to keep the power. Trees are snapping everywhere, too.”

Some residents said the storm caught them off guard, while others said they expect almost anything when it comes to western Pennsylvania weather.

"It is Pittsburgh, so you kind of have to expect anything. We got snow from the lakes throughout the year. You can't predict when it will happen. If you're from Pittsburgh this is what happened. You got to get used to it," said Rob Slater.

The mountains east of Pittsburgh are seeing so much snow that 7Springs is opening for some snow sports.

Anna Weltz, a spokesperson for the resort, said Wagner Slope will be open Tuesday.

“We have about 5 or 6 inches of snow here on the ground,” Weltz said. “By time the storm wraps up, we’re thinking about a foot or more.”

7Springs said they are offering special deals Tuesday for people who buy their 2012-13 season passes in person.