Thousands without power, damage left behind after strong storms move through

PITTSBURGH — A line of showers and strong storms moved through our area Wednesday evening, leaving behind damage and thousands of people without power.

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UPDATE 6:20 p.m.: The amount of customers affected by power outages in our area has dropped to about 2,500. Duquesne Light said as of 6 p.m., only 720 customers still are being affected by outages.

West Penn Power is still reporting about 1,800.

Wednesday’s storm was so intense that it ripped at least 100 tree roots right out of the ground.

And crews are starting the massive clean-up process that is estimated to take about a month.

The general manager at the Butler golf course said a bunch of golfers were playing at the time of the storm hit and had to rush to get inside.

At this time, golfers and leagues with tee times set for Thursday or this weekend are being rescheduled.

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.: The damage in Daugherty Township is unbelievably huge with trees uprooted from the ground.

Channel 11 toured parts of Beaver County with the national weather service as meteorologists determined all this damage was because of an EF2 tornado, meaning winds were 100 to 110 mph during the 20-minute storm.

In Ohioville, there are more damage trees down taking out fences. Families have a lot of cleanup on their hands.

The National weather service confirms Wednesday night’s tornado is the strongest to hit the county in 35 years.

Update: 4 p.m.: There are still around 2,000 West Penn Power customers experiencing a power outage and about 1,000 Duquesne Light customers.

Update: 12 p.m.: Several golfers were out on a golf course in Elizabeth Township Wednesday when a powerful storm uprooted or damaged about 100 trees and sent debris flying.

Because of the damage, Butler's Golf Course is closed indefinitely.

On 34 of 36 holes at the golf course, tree after tree was toppled over.

The golfers who were on the course had to rush to get to safety.

“Fortunately, everybody was able to get to the clubhouse to take shelter before all the real damages happened,” Joe Goellener, general manager at Butler’s Golf Course, said.

Goellener said it will take about a month to clean up.

Update: 9 a.m.: More than 100 trees were brought down at Butler’s Golf Course during last night’s storms. Branches and debris are left scattered on the course.

Update: 7 a.m.: There are about 11,000 people without power.

Duquesne Light is reporting about 3,000 outages in western Pennsylvania and West Penn Power is reporting about 7,700 outages.

Update: 6:30 a.m.: Storms in Beaver Falls were so strong they sheared a telephone pole and flipped it into a home’s front yard.

The pole was left teetering on live wires along Sixth Street.

Up the street at Providence Care Center, huge trees snapped from the force of the winds.

Beaver Falls Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Stowe said the storms didn’t last long, only about 20 minutes at the most.

The National Weather Service is expected to survey the damage Thursday to determine if a tornado touched down.

Update: 4:15 a.m.: About 14,100 people are still without power in our area.

West Penn Power is estimating service won’t be restored to all its customers until about 11 p.m. It has about 3,000 outages in Allegheny and Lawrence counties alone.

Most of Duquesne Light’s outages are in Allegheny and Beaver counties.

Update: 12:00 a.m.: A Flood Advisory is in effect for southeastern Allegheny County until 3 a.m.

Update 11:00 p.m. Powerful storms ripped through the Elizabeth Township area.

West Penn Power had to cut off all power to a substation, affecting most everyone in the township because of the storms.

Watch a full report from Channel 11′s Amy Hudak below:

UPDATE 10:32 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for parts of Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Mercer and Venango counties until 11 p.m.

UPDATE 10:00 p.m.: The Tornado Warning for Beaver County has expired.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, Mercer and Venango counties until 10:30 p.m.

UPDATE 9:53 p.m.: The Tornado Warning for Beaver County has been extended until 10:15 p.m.

UPDATE 9:43 p.m.: A tornado warning has been issued for northeastern Beaver County until 10 p.m.

Stephen Cropper said there is a tornado in the Beaver Falls area.

UPDATE 9:26 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for parts of Washington, Beaver, Lawrence and Mercer counties until 10 p.m.

UPDATE 9:09 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for part of Beaver County until 9:30 p.m.

UPDATE 9:07 p.m.: West Penn Power has reported a power grid has been shut down Elizabeth Township, which will effect a large portion of the township, according to Allegheny County.

UPDATE 8:55 p.m.: Channel 11′s Amy Hudak said spotted a down tree and wires on Broadlawn Drive in Elizabeth.

And here is damage she found along Lincoln Hall Road.

UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: There are downed trees, wires in poles in Elizabeth, North Versailles, White Oak, McKeesport, Lincoln and West Mifflin, according to Allegheny County. Many roads remain closed.

UPDATE: 8:04 p.m.: County dispatchers are recommending staying away from most roads in Elizabeth and Forward townships due to downed trees and live wires.

Channel 11′s Amy Hudak said West Penn Power is concerned about more powerful storms moving in tonight. They’ll have crews working all night with restoration.

UPDATE 8:00 p.m.: Storm damage is being reported around the area.

A viewer also sent us pictures of storm damage from Leechburg:

UPDATE 6:53 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for our area until 1 a.m.

UPDATE 6:37 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for parts of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland and Fayette counties until 7:15 p.m.