Updated: 5:16 p.m. Thursday, July 26, 2012 | Posted: 2:14 p.m. Thursday, July 26, 2012
Severe storms do damage across Greater Pittsburgh; More expected
Severe thunderstorm squalls continue to race across the Channel 11 News viewing area, Severe Weather Team 11 Meteorologist Scott Harbaugh says.
Most of the storms will be capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 70 mph, and a few of the storms along and north of Interstate 80 might trigger a brief tornado.
At 2:45 p.m., a long line of severe storms stretched from Bradford, Pa., southwest to Athens, Ohio, moving east-southeast at 30-35 mph. The storms continued to come together as they moved through Western Pennsylvania. A second line of storms could be a big problem for our southern counties this evening.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch continues for the entire region until 10 p.m.
Pittsburgh officials are warning the city's residents about the widespread severe weather. The National Weather Service has indicated that the storms might cause flash flooding and wind damage.
Multiple Tornado Warnings were issued Thursday for parts of counties to the north of Allegheny. Dispatchers from Mercer County 911 said they received dozens of calls about trees and wires down. They also reporting scattered power outages throughout the area.
"We urge residents to err on the side of caution, stay indoors, and check on your elderly neighbors and family. As always, stay tuned to local media and your national weather radio for new developments," Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said.
Officials said the Public Safety and Public Works departments have added additional personnel.
"We are prepared to respond to a worst possible case scenario storm, but we need the public to help us by remaining vigilant and exercising extreme caution. Residents must use extreme caution, especially during their rush hour commute. Do not drive into flooded water, and look out for downed trees and power lines," Public Safety Director Michael Huss said.
Meanwhile, city pools closed at 2 p.m. Thursday and the Mayor's Big League games scheduled for Thursday night were canceled. The Dollar Bank Cinema movie in Brookline Memorial Park was also canceled.
A spokesperson for Robert Morris University confirmed that the campus lost power for a time. In addition, a tree in New Castle fell on a roof and did damage. Trees were reported down in Grove City and across Butler County as well.