Archive

ShareThis Page
High winds knock out power, injure man at Cranberry construction site | TribLIVE.com
News

High winds knock out power, injure man at Cranberry construction site

Tribune-Review
| Monday, November 24, 2014 10:35 a.m
PTRwind112514
Andrew Conte | Trib Total Media
A few portable toilets along Tony Dorsett Drive moved from their position on the sidewalk after high winds ripped through the area, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.
20141124T205259Z01MDB17RTRIDSP3USAWEATHERNEWYORK
REUTERS
Residents look over as Cayuga Creek water rushes past a neighbourhood following a massive snow storm in Lancaster, New York November 24, 2014. Emergency workers filled thousands of sandbags on Sunday as the area around Buffalo, New York braced for potential flooding as warming temperatures began to melt up to seven feet (2 metres) of snow. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT)

A powerful nor’easter is expected to dump rain and snow from northern West Virginia through New England, delivering treacherous travel conditions for Western Pennsylvanians who plan to head east for Thanksgiving, the National Weather Service said.

“It looks like Wednesday will be a really bad day for traveling,” said Rihaan Gangat, a meteorologist at the agency’s Moon office. “If you are traveling east, be careful and pay attention out there.”

Wind gusting up to 60 mph Monday caused damage and knocked out power to thousands of electricity customers, giving people a taste of the bad weather to come.

Forecasters anticipate the storm to develop along the East Coast as millions of travelers head to Thanksgiving destinations.

“I would pack your patience,” said Robert Sinclair Jr. of AAA New York.

The storm, forecast to dump rain along the coast and snow inland, could cause delays at Northeast airports and along the region’s busy highways.

Western Pennsylvania counties likely will miss much of the rain and snow, though forecasters expect six inches or more of snow in parts of West Virginia and central Pennsylvania.

“Right now, it is uncertain where exactly that track will come,” Gangat said. “But it certainly appears that it will be to the east of us.”

The storm should pass through by Thursday morning, he said.

PennDOT plans to deploy crews to clear snow through the holiday but will not pretreat roadways, agency Secretary Barry Schoch said.

“The rain will wash salt brine away,” Schoch said. “This is one of the reasons why it’s so critical that we have real-time conditions and that drivers closely watch forecasts to decide whether they should travel.”

As strong wind blew across Ohio and into Pennsylvania, it knocked down utility lines and trees, disrupting power for thousands. The Ohio Turnpike ordered a travel ban for some large trucks, motor homes and campers through Monday afternoon.

The wind brought by a cold front chased away temperatures just short of a record high 69 degrees set in 1931. The high in Pittsburgh reached 68, the weather service reported.

A wind advisory remained in effect until 10 p.m., though the worst gusts passed through in the afternoon. A gust at the Allegheny County Airport reached 58 mph, and a 64-mph gust was recorded at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport, Gangat said.

Wind blew out wooden two-by-fours and plastic covering an open window at a Cranberry construction site for the UPMC-Pittsburgh Penguins sports performance center and practice rink, injuring a worker who went to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment.

Duquesne Light and FirstEnergy reported more than 35,000 customers without power at various times, including about 6,700 in Washington County.

“It’s not uncommon to have winds like this, but it doesn’t happen every day,” said Todd Meyers, a spokesman for FirstEnergy subsidiary West Penn Power.

Chief Alvin Henderson said people flooded the Allegheny County Emergency Services Center with calls about downed trees, tree limbs and power lines throughout the day.

“It was all wind-related,” he said. “We had live power lines down, arcing and sparking. It was pretty much throughout the entire county.”

A line snapped and crackled before falling to the sidewalk in front of Maya Johnson, general manager of Klavon’s Ice Cream parlor in the Strip District, as she decorated the front windows for Christmas.

“We heard the first pop, and the wind picked up more,” said Johnson, 33, of Crafton.

One end of the power line got caught in trees on the side of the Penn Avenue building, sending sparks flying over the heads of customers and other passers-by before police cordoned off the area.

“It was pretty scary,” Johnson said. “At first, we thought it was lightning.”

Simone Koffman and her husband, Allen, encountered the windstorm shortly after crossing the border between Canada and the United States at Buffalo.

The Toronto residents stopped at a rest area along Interstate 79 in Washington County on their annual drive to Palm Beach, Fla. The wind pushed their white Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle around the road amid tractor-trailers jockeying to stay in their lanes, the couple said.

“It’s terrible. It just moves this whole car all over,” said Simone Koffman, 58. “We’re going a lot slower. Normally, we would have made better time.”

“But it’s better safe than sorry,” said Allen Koffman, 58.

Jason Cato is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7936 or jcato@tribweb.com. The Associated Press contributed.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.