2010-03-18 / Local & State

Storm Leaves Thousands Without Power In SE Pa.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Blustery winds and drenching rains brought power and transportation problems to Pennsylvania as well as a few evacuations, but the commonwealth was spared the brunt of the storm as widespread flooding feared did not materialize.

About 32,000 customers in the five-county Philadelphia area were without power Sunday morning, including 15,000 each in Bucks and Montgomery counties, PECO spokesman Fred Maher said.

The company is bringing in crews from western Pennsylvania and Michigan to help, but Maher says some customers are likely to be without power until Monday. As of Sunday morning, PECO had restored power to 90,000 customers since the storm began, he said.

In western Pennsylvania, officials had feared serious flooding but scaled back their forecasts as rainfall turned out to be less than expected.

Somerset County 911 supervisor Joel Landis said about 45 people were evacuated from several personal care homes in the Confluence area on Saturday. Several residents were also evacuated from homes in Hollsopple and Benson Borough from rising water in the Stonycreek River, he said.

Some roads were closed in the county and basements of homes were flooded, but there were no reports of serious damage or injuries, Landis said.

In Pittsburgh, the Tenth Street Bypass was closed as the Allegheny River spilled over its banks, and the Mon Wharf and Point State Park were also flooded.

Minor flooding was also reported in Connellsville and Sutersville along the Youghiogheny River.

In Westmoreland County, road closures were reported and two homes were reported flooded in South Huntindon Township. Firefighters went door to door during the night to warn residents, but no evacuation was ordered.

Flood warnings were issued Sunday for Somerset, Franklin, Bedford, Huntingdon, Fulton and Cambria counties. Emergency officials in Franklin and Huntingdon counties reported minor flooding and road closures, but no serious problems.

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