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Storm Damage Closes Route 228 In Cranberry Twp.

(Photo Credit: Michelle Young)

(Photo Credit: Michelle Young)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A wave of storms Tuesday night left lots of damage to the Pittsburgh area.

In Cranberry, eight to 10 downed traffic poles caused a mess along Route 228 near Interstate 79.

A KDKA viewer described them as going down in a domino effect.

Cranberry Township Communications Director Peter Longini said the downed utility poles have caused major traffic disruptions. As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, the road was still closed between Route 19 and Cranberry Woods Drive.

The repairs are not expected to be made in time for the morning rush hour.

Heavy rains and wind quickly hit downtown and surrounding areas as well.

In Natrona Heights, emergency dispatchers say a tree fell onto a house and another tree was struck by lightning on California Avenue.

The small community of Crescent Township will be cleaning up for the next several days.

A fierce storm ripped through the Route 51 corridor, snapping trees and power lines, and damaging homes and businesses.

Fire Chief Kevin Scott was urging residents to stay in their homes Tuesday night as they assessed the full scope of damage.

Al Samuel told KDKA’s Kym Gable he had to crawl through a window to get out of his house.

“It went so quick,” he said. “It was amazing. I heard wind, heard a crack. That’s when my girlfriend yelled our porch fell in.”

“The sun was out while it was happening,” said Jeff Hold. “It was crazy.”

Residents say the storm lasted only minutes. It stopped as suddenly as it started. A volunteer at St. Catherine Church went to the basement.

“I looked out the door and saw everything going around in a circle,” explained David Jones.

Pat Dierker says she was frightened by the howling wind.

“It was raining so hard. All you saw as swirls and trees and limbs flying through the air,” Dierker said. “Never seen it ran that hard.”

Many roads were completely blocked by downed trees. Utility crews and emergency responders had a tough time navigating the township to check on residents’ safety.

Chief Scott says there were no serious injuries. But his crews did rescue people trapped in cars.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for most counties in the KDKA viewing area, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer and Venango counties.

The watch is in effect until 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on the storms.

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