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Strong Storms Bring Cranberry Twp. Traffic To Halt

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CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Some powerful storms moved through the area Tuesday and the effects are still being felt today.

The National Weather Service has determined that straight line wind gusts estimated at 85 miles an hour caused the damage.

KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland Reports:

In Cranberry, the best advice would be to stay away from Route 228. Nine large utility poles were ripped out of the ground and toppled over like dominoes.

High voltage power lines were left dangling across the road, which brought traffic to a halt.

It meant a long night for driver Doug Bell, who had to sleep in his truck.

“I want to get out of here. It’s aggravating, but they’re trying. They’ve been working all night on it,” Bell said.

The utility poles that fell during last night’s storm forced the closure of Route 228 between Route 19 and Cranberry Woods Drive.

The on and off-ramps to Interstate 79 are also closed. As a result, the morning rush hour was slowed to a crawl.

“I’m trying to get to work. Both exits I have to take are closed right now. Not sure how to get around,” Isaac Smith said.

Falling utility poles along a busy road could have been catastrophic. According to police, only two minor incidents were reported.

KDKA’s Trina Orlando Reports:

“One of the energized lines actually impacted one of our off-duty officer’s vehicles. No injuries, which was lucky. We believe there may have been one other vehicle that was also struck with one of the lines,” Cranberry Police Sgt. Chuck Mascellino said.

Despite the mess, no customers are without electrical service.

“Fortunately, a lot of redundancy built into the system and a lot of backup power. We were able to reroute power around this outage last night,” Chris Eck, of Penn Power, said.

The repairs will take time, which means more detours and delays for drivers in the Cranberry area.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Rob Hopson)

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Rob Hopson)

There is no timetable on a full reopening of Route 228 at this time. Crews will reopen lanes when they can.

But it could be morning before things get back to normal.

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