Strong storms cause damage in many areas; More rain, gusty winds expected today

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PITTSBURGH —

Strong to severe storms rolled through much of the Channel 11 viewing area Wednesday evening, causing damages in many areas. Severe Weather Team meteorologist Valerie Smock said more rain and gusting winds are expected Thursday. 

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The first round of storms Wednesday happened during the early-evening hours, downing trees and power lines. The storms also caused some flooding and blocked roadways.

Just before 7 p.m., a tornado warning was issued in Butler and Armstrong counties.  However, there were no confirmed reports of anything touching down locally.

The National Weather Service reported that radar showed a confirmed tornado in Bedford County and there were similar reports of a tornado in Columbiana County, Ohio, which borders Lawrence and Beaver counties, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

In downtown Butler, a church was struck by lightning, sending huge cement stones tumbling down.

Channel 11’s Shelby Zarotney reported that children were at Grace of Calvery Church when the storms struck. The group, officials said, moved to the basement moments before the lightning struck the top of the century-old building.

The group’s supervisor said the kids were standing right where the stones fell before taking shelter.

More unsettled weather will continue Thursday and a flash flood watch remains in effect until 11p.m. for all of the Channel 11 viewing area counties, except Mercer and Lawrence counties.

The National Weather Service stated that urban locations and small stream areas will be the most likely locations to be impacted by quickly rising waters.

The good news is, Thursday’s rain should not be widespread.

Friday we'll have more showers and storms but they will be fairly scattered. The humidity will start to diminish with the frontal passage on Friday. A beautiful weekend is expected with lots of sunshine.

Temperatures will be seasonable through Saturday, and then we hit the 80s by Sunday.