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Firefighters rescued a man trapped in a collapsed building

Monday's thunderstorm approaches Bellefonte

A thunderstorm ripped through Centre County on Monday, causing 19,000 West Penn Power customers to be without electricity. First responders also rescued a man trapped under a collapsed shed in Rebersburg.
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A thunderstorm ripped through Centre County on Monday, causing 19,000 West Penn Power customers to be without electricity. First responders also rescued a man trapped under a collapsed shed in Rebersburg.

First responders rescued a man who was in his shed Monday during the severe thunderstorm that swept central Pennsylvania.

The shed collapsed on the man at about 6:55 p.m. off Chestnut Road in Rebersburg.

The man was taken to a hospital for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, according to Miles Township Fire Chief Eric Miller. He said it is the worst storm to hit the township that he can recall.

There were also more than 19,000 West Penn Power customers in Centre County without power, according to the utility company. Most outages occurred from about 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, largely due to downed trees and broken branches falling on wires.

At about 8 p.m., West Penn Power’s website showed 7,600 customers without power in the Centre Region, 2,400 in Spring Township, 1,800 in Walker Township, 1,400 in Potter Township, 1,200 in Gregg Twonship, 1,000 in Bellefonte, 700 in Centre Hall and Haines and Penn townships, 600 in Miles Township and 500 in Millheim.

West Penn Power spokesman Eyad Gheith said the company did not have estimates for when power would be restored for its customers, but crews will be working to restore power through at least Tuesday morning.

He said about 30,000 customers were without power in central Pennsylvania Monday evening.

“We’re out there assessing damage after the heavy winds took out power lines and trees,” Gheith said. “Crews are on scene and working as quickly as possible. We’ll have crews out overnight, and additional external crews are coming in to help restore power for all of our customers as quickly and safely as possible.”

Alpha Fire Company and State College police spent Monday evening cleaning up fallen tree branches from roads throughout the borough. Memorial field in downtown State College filled up with stormwater, temporarily becoming a haven for local ducks. Flooding and fallen trees also caused closed streets in multiple communities including Philipsburg and Zion.

About 30 counties were put under a tornado watch for the storm, and a tornado warning was in effect in Huntingdon County starting at about 9 p.m. Residents were told to take cover immediately.

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