Power companies, repair crews preparing for damaging winds, rain this weekend

PITTSBURGH — This weekend’s weather is going to look a lot like last weekend’s. Whipping winds will hit the region, but it’s the accompanying rain that could cause even more problems.


“With the ground being saturated and the wind, that’s not a good combination,” said Val Brown with Lebo Trees.

HIGH WIND WARNING: 60 mph gusts, storms and power outages likely Saturday across Pittsburgh area

It’s been a busy week for Lebo Trees. Brown tells Channel 11 her crews are preparing for the worst.

“Bracing ourselves. Hoping there’s no real damage,” Brown said.

Preparation is key for power companies, too. Both West Penn Power and Duquesne Light are bringing in additional workers.

“We are rewinding the tape, preparing for the same kind of storm we prepared for and fought through last week,” West Penn Power Spokesperson Todd Meyers said.

“Based on the current forecast, we all know that can change, based on current forecast with winds up in the 50 miles per hour range, wind gusts in the 50s, that would typically put us into a storm restoration event,” Duquesne Light Operations Center Director Jason Keller said.

The speed of the wind could be problematic if and when power does go out. Bucket trucks can’t operate in winds stronger than 30 to 40 miles per hour.

“We don’t want that swinging. We want to restore power as quickly as possible, but safety needs to come first,” Meyers said.

Crews also want to remind people to stay away from any wires on the ground. They could still be electrified.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW