Thousands without power as thunderstorms push through region

PITTSBURGH — Severe weather rolled through western Pennsylvania Thursday, leading to downed trees and power lines. At one point, more than 55,000 power outages were reported across the area. As of Friday afternoon, thousands of customers are still without power as more storms are set to move in over the weekend.

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UPDATE 8:02 p.m.: Duquesne Light is reporting 2,513 outages, down from a peak of more than 11,000 at the height of storms Friday afternoon. First Energy reports more than 4,320 outages across the region.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: Duquesne Light is reporting 6,800 people without power, and there are about 5,000 First Energy customers still waiting for service to be restored. First Energy reports more than 4,320 outages across the region.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: First Energy reports a number of power outages in the region:

  • Allegheny Co.: 367
  • Armstrong Co.: 597
  • Butler Co.: 2,155

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Duquesne Light reports over 11,000 customers are without power as heavy thunderstorms pushed through the region.

UPDATE 9 a.m.: Boyce Park is closed until further notice so crews can work to clean the park, where numerous trees fell during Thursday’s storms.

UPDATE 8:45 a.m.: Duquesne Light said it has restored power to more than 30,000 customers since last night, but crews are still working to get the power on for about 10,000 customers.

The company is increasing staffing of its field crews, which continue to work around the clock.

Full restoration is estimated to be completed by Saturday afternoon, though DLC said it expects to restore power to many customers sooner.

“After the company initially experienced technical issues that made it difficult for customers to report outages, anyone experiencing an outage can now report it on DLC’s website, on its mobile app or by calling 412-393-7000,” a news release said.

UPDATE 7:15 a.m.: O’Hara Elementary School in the Fox Chapel Area School District is closed because of a power outage.

UPDATE 6:45 a.m.: The number of power outages has increased from a previous update, again to nearly 22,000 total. Here are the latest numbers from local power companies:

  • Duquesne Light: 10,298
  • West Penn Power: 10,268
  • Central Electric Co-Op: 1,340

UPDATE 6:35 a.m.: A representative for West Penn Power said extra crews were called in to address the widespread power outages. They are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power, but there is no timeframe for when it will be back for all customers.

UPDATE 6:30 a.m.: About 21,000 people do not have power. Here are the latest numbers from local power companies:

  • Duquesne Light: 9,461
  • West Penn Power 10,259
  • Central Electric Co-Op: 1,319

UPDATE 5:30 a.m.: There are still nearly 22,000 people without power. Here are the latest numbers from local power companies:

  • Duquesne Light: 10,868
  • West Penn Power: 9,734
  • Central Electric Co-Op: 1,221

UPDATE 4 a.m.: More than 25,000 people remain without power early Friday morning.

Duquesne Light reports more than 14,000 power outages, while West Penn Power reports over 10,000 outages, and Central Electric Co-op reports 1,200 outages.

UPDATE 11:45 p.m.: Another round of strong-to-severe storms could move through the area Friday, with the threat for heavy downpours increasing as we head into the weekend.

Thunderstorms could develop during the day Friday, starting north of Pittsburgh before lunch, then moving south through Washington and Westmoreland counties.

After sunset, the focus will shift to the threat for heavy downpours, as tropical moisture from now Tropical Depression Laura moves our way.

The latest track brings the system close to our area late Friday through Saturday afternoon. Pockets of heavy rain could cause localized flooding, with some areas getting more than two inches of rain.

Stay with Severe Weather Team 11 as we track the severe weather threats for your neighborhood.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: According to Duquesne Light officials, crews will continue to restore power to the nearly 40,000 customers overnight, but “full restoration may not be complete until Saturday afternoon.”

Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour caused significant damage and outages across the region.

You can read the full release from Duquesne Light below:

“Nearly 40,000 customers are currently without power due to the strong storm that swept through the entire Pittsburgh region this evening, bringing wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour and significant, widespread damage. About 100 Duquesne Light Company (DLC) crew members are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Crews will work around the clock until all customers are restored.

Earlier this evening, the company experienced significant technical problems, leaving customers without a way to officially report outages by phone, website or mobile app. Outage information instead was obtained through social media reports. DLC’s technical team has been working diligently to identify the cause of the issue. Because of these challenges, the full extent of storm damage and the number of impacted customers are not yet known.

As of 10:30 p.m., the outage map on the company website is working and customers are able to report outages via the website or by contacting the DLC Call Center, although they may experience longer wait times.

The company appreciates everyone’s patience at this time. Crews will continue to restore power to affected customers throughout the evening and into tomorrow, but full restoration may not be complete until Saturday afternoon. Updates will be shared on DLC’s Facebook and Twitter pages as necessary.”

UPDATE 10:50 p.m.: Shaler Township police said on Twitter that power outages in that area are expected to last several more hours as Duquesne Light crews work to repair service.

There are more than 5,000 customers with Central Electric Cooperative, bringing the total number of those without power to more than 55,000.

UPDATE 9:55 p.m.: All the weather watches and warnings have expired.

West Penn Power is also reporting an additional 16,000 customers in the Pittsburgh area who have lost power due to the storms. A total between Duquesne Light and West Penn customers comes to more than 46,000.

UPDATE 9:10 p.m.: Duquesne Light’s power outage map appears to be back online, and the company is reporting over 30,000 customers without power across Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties.

That total comes from only 24 reported outages, and the area with the most customers affected is Moon Township -- with 3,965. Fox Chapel also has over 3,000 customers reporting no power.

Duquesne Light officials have not provided a timeline of when power could be restored. For an updated outage map, click here.

The severe thunderstorm warnings all expired, except for Fayette and Greene counties -- which are still in effect until 9:30 p.m.

UPDATE 7:49 p.m.: Duquesne Light said they’re working to “quickly and safely” as possible to restore power to those who lost it during the storms that moved through.

The company also said they’re aware of web and phone issues impacting the ability for some customers to report their outages, and are working to resolve that, as well.

UPDATE 7:30 p.m.: Severe storms left behind damage in Plum.

Part of New Texas road is closed for a downed tree.

Some residents are working to clear of the roads.

Previous coverage:

Much needed rain will be delivered to the area over the next few days.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and tonight. While storms won’t be widespread, any storm that does develop can be strong with gusty winds and heavy rain.

Numerous showers with isolated thunderstorms are on tap for Friday. Saturday will get extra moisture from what will be left of now Hurricane Laura, providing more widespread coverage.

Stay with Severe Weather Team 11 for updates on where the heaviest rain will fall heading into the weekend and where we might get a little drought relief.

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