Storm leaves thousands powerless

TANNER MONDOK | Herald Cars travel around a downed tree Tuesday at the Orangville Road and Plum Road intersection in West Salem Township.

Heavy rains, lightning and winds Tuesday left thousands of Mercer County residents without power, and service may not be restored until this afternoon.

“We have a lot of downed trees that hit our lines and broke our poles,’’ Lauren Siburkis, a Penn Power spokeswoman said. ”Before we can begin repairs, the trees have to be removed and the poles have to be replaced. Unfortunately, that’s a very time-consuming process.’’

As of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday 2,200 Penn Power customers in the county still lacked power.

Storms began pounding the area around 3 p.m. At the height of the outages, approximately 4,700 Penn Power customers in the county were without electricity.

Wind speeds up to 31 mph were recorded at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport's weather station across the border in Vienna, Ohio.

Outages were widespread across the county, with the northern and northeastern areas of Greenville, Mercer and Stoneboro socked the hardest.

Mercer County 911 said there were numerous downed trees and power lines in the Greenville area. A 911 supervisor said the county's public safety department received no reports of injuries due to the storm.

Shenango Valley residents got off relatively easy with less than 100 outages reported, according to FirstEnergy’s website. Penn Power is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy.

A dozen or so outages were reported across the state line in Brookfield, Ohio.

There is little prospect for improvement in the next few days. The National Weather Service reports a chance of more thunderstorms today, Friday and Saturday.

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