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CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Thousands of people have been left without power after a winter storm moved through the area.
The storm started with freezing rain, which iced over power lines. As the storm progressed, the precipitation changed over to snow, which has brought down trees and power lines across the area.
“I didn’t think it was a tree when I heard it. I thought it was in the back yard,” Kaydee Ford said.
What she heard was power lines being brought down onto her car. Now, Ford and her roommate are stuck at their Mars home.
“I probably wasn’t going to have the day off, but I’m pretty excited now,” Stacy Karkins said.
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The generators are running power to many traffic lights, but there’s just not enough of them to go around
“The fire departments been busy all night, they’ve had over 20 calls,” Robert Wolmer said.
Most of those calls involved trees on wires, or trees blocking roads.
Robert Wolmer opened a warming center at the Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department. It’s one of several warming centers across the county.
“Some of our concerns are elderly. As you saw on my map, I was just trying to send someone out there to check on some neighbors in my development,” Wolmer said.
Classes were canceled at Pine-Richland, Freeport, and Mars because of power outages, to name a few.
In Cranberry Township, Powell Road is closed near Rochester Road due to a downed tree.
— Meghan Schiller (@MeghanKDKA) November 16, 2018
As of 11 a.m., more than 56,000 West Penn customers were without power. Most of the outages are being reported in Butler County as more than 37,000 customers are in the dark.
Warming stations are available at the Connonquenessing, Middlesex Township and Herman fire stations.
The Butler YMCA is also offering free showers to county residents. No membership is required.
In Cranberry Township, warming stations are open at EMS Station – 20727 Route19, and Haine School Fire Station – 1679 Haine School Road. Residents are also welcome at the Municipal Center.
An additional 16,000 Duquesne Light customers are without power as well. as of 11:30 a.m., crews had restored power to 8,000 customers.
According to Duquesne Light, the damage to their equipment is “severe and widespread.” The hardest hit areas are Hampton, Richland, Ross and Robinson.
There are 16,000 customers in Allegheny County without power, while 5,000 customers in Armstrong County and 3,000 customers in Beaver County are also in the dark.