Strong winds and heavy rain hit Centre County
Centre County is still cleaning up after a powerful storm swept through the area Monday evening, downing trees and cutting power for thousands of residents.
There are about 12,000 West Penn customers without power in Centre County, according to the company, as of about 1 p.m. Tuesday. Power may not return for everyone until about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.
West Penn Power spokesman Todd Meyers said the company hopes to have under 10,000 without power in the county by Wednesday morning.
“We’ll tackle the largest outages first no matter where they are,” he said. “Then we work our way down like ripples in a pond. There are still plenty of big outages out there. ... Please, please be careful. Be cautious of downed wires. They may still be energized. If you see it, call 911, your local fire department or us at 888-lightss.”
Spring and Harris townships have about 2,500 customers without power, the most of any municipality in the county. Almost no one in Millheim, Centre Hall and Walker, Potter, Penn, Miles, Haines and Gregg townships has power.
External crews are being brought into Centre County to help restore power, according to Meyers, who said that Centre County was hit the hardest in central Pennsylvania. Most external crews are from the Reading area.
As a result, school has been canceled for the day for both Bellefonte and Penns Valley area school districts, according to announcements from the schools. State College Area School District canceled State High’s day due to the campus not having power.
Centre County 911 services handled 508 calls between 6 p.m. Monday and 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, 911 Director Dale Neff said. A large amount of the calls involved fallen trees or trees down on power wires causing fires.
“It was a hectic time for us here,” Neff said.
Both the Centre County Emergency Management Agency and Centre Region emergency management were opened, he said, and were instrumental in notifying outages to West Penn Power, Comcast and Verizon.
“Stay safe,” Meyers said. “This was a particularly dangerous storm that caused severe damage. It may be a few days before things are normal.”