Overnight winds roar over Centre County

Centre County is sweeping up after strong winds blew through the area overnight.

A wind advisory was in effect until 1 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service, for several counties across the state including Centre and surrounding counties. Meteorologist Paul Head said overnight winds gusted up to 51 mph in State College and up to 56 mph in Johnstown.

A low-pressure system moving into the Lake Ontario area was met with a new low developing over the southern New England states, Head said. As the systems met over Pennsylvania, he said, “all that energy transfer just roared over the state.”

Head said the winds would diminish as the day went on, as the low-pressure system moved from the gulf of Maine into Nova Scotia. The winds was expected to be a one-day event.

Heavy winds are normal in March, he said, so the area can expect maybe two more excessively windy days sometime next month.

Centre County Emergency Management Agency Director Jeff Wharran reported minor troubles in the county, including partial road closures and tractor-trailer that went off the road along U.S. Route 322 and caused a minor diesel spill.

West Penn Power reported 13 separate power outages across the county Monday morning, from North Eagle Valley Road in Boggs Township to Lake Road in Potter Township. An outage caused by tree damage along Penns Valley Road near Spring Mills was reportedly affecting up to 100 customers, and was expected to be resolved before noon.

West Penn reported about 60 customers without power by Monday evening, Wharran said. Statewide, he said, the winds initially left more than 25,000 people without power.

A death attributed to the wind was reported by Cumberland County Coroner Charley Hall, The Associated Press reported. High winds took down a tree branch that crashed through the windshield of a vehicle driven by 22-year-old Shannon Lee Martin, of Loysville. The branch reportedly struck him in the chest, breaking his ribs and lacerating his heart. Martin died early Monday after going into cardiac arrest at a hospital outside Harrisburg, according to the AP.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews