Heat Wave Sets Records
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Sizzling heat sent some records falling in eastern Pennsylvania Wednesday while storms cut power to thousands of customers to the west.
The National Weather Service says the mercury hit 100 degrees Wednesday in Philadelphia and Reading, breaking records set for the day. The old record in Philadelphia was the 99 degrees set in 1953. The old record in Reading was 98 degrees set in 1999. And it was 98 degrees in Allentown, tying the record temperature set in 1999. The 94 degrees at Mount Pocono beat the mark set in 1953 by one degree.
Strong winds and thunderstorms swept through Pennsylvania later Wednesday, toppling some trees and causing some flooding and power outages, especially in western Pennsylvania.
Duquesne Light reported on its twitter account that power was knocked out to about 18,000 customers, but said several hours later that all but 5,000 had service restored. Met Ed reported more than 2,000 customers without power in Fayette County on Wednesday night. The Pittsburgh Post- Gazette says West Penn and Penn Power reported close to 6,900 customers without power in Westmoreland County, more than 2,500 in Allegheny County and 692 in Butler County. Fewer than 300 outages were later reported in Butler County and a little more than 200 each in the other two counties.
Some outages were reported in other parts of the commonwealth, with Met Ed reporting 1,338 customers without power in central Pennsylvania's Franklin County, and lightning was blamed for a two-alarm fire at a central Pennsylvania apartment house. Mount Joy Fire Chief Buddy Hess told the (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era that the blaze “was definitely a lightning strike” that did $20,000 to $30,000 damage to the roof and attic areas of the Mount Joy building.
The storms, however, were ushering in cooler weather predicted later in the week.