Strong storms produce lightning, hail, gusty winds; Thousands lose power

Updated:

Loading

PITTSBURGH - Severe storms moved across much of the Channel 11 viewing area Tuesday afternoon.

The storms produced winds in excess of 60 mph and quarter-sized hail, said Severe Weather Team meteorologist Scott Harbaugh. 

Several reports of downed power lines and trees were reported throughout the area.

In Scott Township, lightning struck a power line outside of the Scott Township police station. Channel 11's Renee Kaminski was there when the power lines fell down and caught fire.

Scott Township Police Chief Jim Secreet directed traffic away from the dangerous wires.

“Whether water hit it or not, something made it arc again and the loud vibration told me it was a very powerful voltage,” Secreet said. “I’ve never seen voltage come out of a line like that in 30 years of police work. Never, anything like that, it was definitely the loudest wire I’ve ever heard.”

Greentree Road between Urula Drive and Old Washington Pike was shut down until the lines could be cleared from the road.

Power outages were also reported along McKnight Road in Ross Township.

Duquesne Light officials reported about 7,200 Duquesne Light customers were without power as of 6 p.m. following the violent storms which hit the region Tuesday afternoon. Duquesne Light crews are in the process of restoring power by removing trees and repairing downed wires.

West Penn Power officials estimated about 8,000 customers were without power at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Also, an employee of a Morgantown golf course was almost struck by lightning Tuesday afternoon.

According to emergency responders, 911 received a call just before 2 p.m. Tuesday that a man had been struck by lightning at the Pines County Club.

Officials said crews immediately responded to the golf course and found a 34-year-old male conscious and alert. Witnesses said he was standing in a metal doorway of an equipment shed when lightning struck near the building.

Officials said they think the man received an electrical conduction shock while standing in the door. He was transported to a local hospital as a precaution.

The thunderstorms slowed down Tuesday evening as the cold front moved into the central Pennsylvania mountains. 

Temperatures will be cooler, and the air will be a bit more comfortable Wednesday.