Tree blown onto house

Wednesday night’s storm blew this tree onto a home on South 10th Street at Ridge Avenue in Sharpsville. As many as 14,000 customers were without power at the peak of the storm and Penn Power hoped to have that number cut down to about 1,200 by Thursday night.

Heavy winds continued to take a toll Thursday on the Mercer County area, leaving many without power or telephone service.

About 1,800 Pennsylvania Power Co. customers were still without electricity Thursday afternoon, said Tony Zucco, area manager.

The utility hoped to have that number whittled to about 1,200 by nightfall, Zucco said.

“We’re going to be working at it for awhile,” he said. “We’re putting everything we got at it.”

The heaviest areas hit were neighborhoods in and around Greenville, Grove City and Mercer, Zucco said.

At the windstorm’s peak, as many as 14,000 customers in the county suffered power outages, he said.

The storm was part of a larger weather pattern that left hundreds of thousands without power from the Great Lakes to the East Coast.

The National Weather Service reported a wind gust of 92 mph in Allegheny County, but said most gusts in the region were no greater than 60 mph.

Zucco said Penn Power was recruiting workers from as far as Detroit to come to Mercer County to help repair lines.

North Wood Street in Greenville was closed during the day Thursday while Penn Power crews worked on a damaged line that cut power to five or six homes in that neighborhood, said Steve Thompson, Greenville fire chief.

Traffic delays and several blocked roadways around the county were reported from downed lines and flooding.

Damages to Verizon utility lines also left many without telephone and Internet service, said Lee Gierczynski, company spokesman.

“Once the power is restored that will resolve some of those issues,” he said.

Phone outages are “not unusual when you have this type of weather coming through the area,” Gierczynski said.

The hardest part of recovery after a storm is pinpointing who needs help, he said.

“The important thing is just for customers to let us know,” Gierczynski said.

Those without phone service should find a way to call 800-837-4966 and Verizon will send a crew to try and fix their service.

The wind was much more kind to other parts of the county and Brookfield.

A few lines and trees were blown down in Farrell, but for the most part the city wasn’t hit too hard, fire Chief Joseph D. Santell said.

“We were pretty fortunate,” he said.

Trees knocked down by the wind were about the only calls Brookfield police received, Chief Dan Faustino said.

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