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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Strong winds and colder temperatures could be in store for the Pittsburgh area, and crews are taking steps to prepare for any potential damage.

It’s barely been two weeks since the last major storm wiped out power to a quarter of a million customers in western Pennsylvania, and now comes the side-swipe of the bomb cyclone pushing that frontal system up our front sidewalk.

“We’re still looking at wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph in the overnight hours,” KDKA meteorologist Ron Smiley said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

That has the power crews’ attention.

“We are bringing in a full compliment of troubleshooters. Those are folks that work overnight and often have trucks at home with them so they can go straight out to locations of damage,” Todd Meyers, of West Penn Power, said.

Smiley says the worst of the winds, 45 to 55 mph, will come rushing through the city and surrounding counties between midnight and 2 a.m. Friday.

“We are looking at least through about 7 a.m. or 8 a.m., we’re going to be looking at wind speeds of 35 to 40 mph, at least wind gusts, then they will be calming down after that,” Smiley said.

The winds will still remain strong through the day Friday.

“It’s what it does to trees around the poles. It can tear limbs down. It can take entire trees down. When we have this wet, saturated soil and these shallow-rooted pine trees, these things have been blowing down everywhere. You can see the evidence still from the wind storm a couple weeks ago,” Meyers said.

Meyers says these are the kinds of winds that will reveal those remaining weaknesses.

“It is imperative that people to stay away from any wires they see on the ground. That could be a safety hazard,” Meyers said.

The good news is the worst of the winds for the local area come early Friday morning, and whatever repairs are needed will come on a regular work day when the utilities have their full crews working.

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