Lightning Strikes Responsible For Massive Power Outage

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) –Multiple lightning strikes are believed to be the cause of a massive power outage in Butler County and northern Allegheny County Tuesday night.

Around 7:35 p.m. two transmission lines at the Maple Substation in Zelienople went down. At its peak, there were roughly 42,000 customers without power.

Penn Power crews worked non-stop and restored power to all of the affected customers by 8:30 a.m.

The outages cost some businesses money because they could not remain open. One affected business was the 7-Eleven on Route 19 in Wexford.

“We’re dead in the water, can’t open for business,” John Marzullo said. “We’ve lost frozen product nonetheless. Complete line of ice cream is gone.”

The power outage also affected some schools in the area.

North Allegheny High School had a two-hour delay Wednesday.

CCAC’s North Campus canceled daytime classes, but evening classes are expected to be held.

Stay With For More Details


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  • Lynda

    I believe Penn Power did an excellent job retstoring power as quickly as possible.

  • Jeepers

    Still out at my house. Thank goodness I set my alarm on my cellphone so i could come to work!

  • Albert E. Heiles

    Last night was crazy. The power flickered a bit around 7:15, then went out for about a minute and then came back on at half power. Lights and such would just barely turn on and you could forget about turning the TV or a radio on and without Internet or phone service it was difficult to find out what was going on unless you wanted to go sit in the car.

  • Fanulanu

    I am not paraniod and I don’t make things up. There was a great deal of military fighter jets and helos in the area yesterday afternoon. I live in the North Hills and I decided to take a ride all up and down Route 19 to see what happened after 10pm. I used to work for the government, so my curiosity got the best of me, not mentioning the boredom and need to charge my phone in the car. I had credible sources inform me of a low-flying craft in the Cranberry/Wexford area before the power outage. Not saying UFO, but something did take those lines out with some great deal of force and a massive effort was in place to contain the area. Helicopters with search lights were in the area all night and confllicting stories flooded the area immediately. Let’s just say, I know from experience that “transformer” “grid overload” and “lightning” are always used to bandage the situation and feed the media in order to prevent panic. Keep your minds and eyes open to this incident, it will just be swept under the carpet if we let it.

    • Bobby

      It is odd how there is very little information on this. Penn Power did not have any information on their website other than the outage map showing 10,000+ without power. We want more details!

    • BGJ

      Just like the IED (improvised explosive device) was discovered on May 6 on the Amtrack Rails in Chester Co. PA. We never heard about that either! Two security guards keep the major city of Pittsburgh safe??? There are no metal detectors, no luggage screeners…

      • BGJ

        The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released an advisory notice to law-enforcement officials Thursday regarding railroad security, after sorting through some of the materials at Osama bin Laden’s compound. The notice, “advisory in general,” encourages officials to be “vigilant about train security.” According to uncovered information, Al Qaeda members discussed derailing U.S. trains by placing obstructions on the tracks, back in February of 2010. WHERE ARE YOU ABOUT THIS RAVENSTAHL???

    • Marie

      You are saying the Route 19 corridor but I understand the “transformer was in Zelienople, not the 19 corridor. What lines were down and where? I didn’t see anything.

      I travel Route 19 daily and guess what? It was thundering and lightning around the time of the outage. When the cloud cover is that low, just before a storm, I rarely see heliocopters and they have a flight pattern from PGH to New Castle that is near my home.

      Now a good conspirarist would use the fire at Springfield Grille in Mars as a cover up but wait, it has hardly been mentioned, so maybe it is being used as a cover up story.

      “Keep your minds and eyes open to this incident, it will just be swept under the carpet if we let it.” – Your quote Fanulanu – Need more information on what you’re saying for anyone to take what you said with some credibility.

  • bt68

    i like turtles

  • amazing

    I totally believe what you are saying Fanulanu. Penn Power continually informed their customers that the outage was due to inclement weather in the area. I told them that was totally BS as we could not have had a more perfect night….not a drop of rain or strong gust of wind in sight. Something is definitely being covered up. No way the power would be out for more than 12 hours for the eintire North Hills and Wexford areas due to inclement weather that did not exist! Marty Griffin, where are you? This is a REAL story!!!!!!

    • Mary

      Amazing – Excuse me but it was storming in the Zelienople area. It might not have been storming where you live, but where those transformers are located, it sure was. Parts of my road was washed out. I live just north of Zelienople and spoke with folks who live in McKnight Rd area and they too said he rained heavily.

      I’m not disputing what fanulanu is saying, just asking that they provide more ‘evidence’.

      • concerned

        I live in McCandless and it could not have been a more lovely evening. Also, I was running through North Park when the outage began, and as I drove on McKnight Road I not only noticed the power out EVERYWHERE in the Northern Allegheny County area, I also saw several helicopters flying overhead. These were not small news helicopters or hospital lifeflight helicopters, they were definitely large military choppers. When I arrived home, my parents stated that they heard several loud planes fly overhead. They did not believe the planes were the normal commercial traffic that we experience on a daily basis because, as my father put it, “they were much louder”.

  • amazing


    I traveled the McKnight Road area last evening and not a drop of rain. Sure it stormed the night before last, but not last evening. It took something massive to know out the power to more than 47,000 homes. To say it was due to inclement weather in our area is just wrong. Just saying it deserves a thorough investigation. Way too much is covered up.

    • Mary


      It may or may not have rained where the outage was but it was storming heavily in the Zelienople area – precisely where the transformer/substation are located and at the time we heard from folks who were lost power.

      What is covered up? Anyone have pictures? Facts? I’m willing to hear another side…..

      • concerned

        Quote from Penn Power spokesman…
        “It really does take something pretty drastic to take those down,” Mr. Lombardo said. “I can’t blame the weather on those.”

      • concerned

        also for those who aren’t familiar with substation design…
        substations are designed to absorb and dissipate lightning strikes. They go through rigorous lightning strike simulation tests and it is very, very common for a substation to get struck by lightning during a thunderstorm. They are designed to continue operation during these occurrences.

  • Myrtle

    I agree. Turtles rock!

  • bob

    you are an idiot, plain and simple. I watched the weather radar, saw the dark sky north of cranberry with lighting and heard rumbles of thunder in the distance. Maybe it was the aliens but I think it was a thunderstorm. Complete morons! You should not be allowed on the internet.

  • lol'ing

    i like turtles……. too


    “get in the Choppa”

  • He-man

    i have the paaahhhrrrrr

  • Jess

    I smell something fishy. Crazy loud planes flying over all day, lots of different stories flying around and distraction etc. during the power outage! Cover-up/lying.

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