Update: Fast-Moving Storm Knocks Out Power in Leetsdale, Bell Acres

The late-afternoon storm swept in from the west, bringing high winds and lightning that may have struck a transformer.

Joe Book stood outside the watching fire trucks direct traffic at the Quaker Village Drive intersection.

He said the restaurant had a few customers inside when the power went out around 5:15 p.m. Monday. 

"With the power being down, you can't work the register," Book said. 

Utility crews were still working Monday night to restore power in Leetsdale, Bell Acres and other Sewickley Valley neighborhoods after a fast-moving storm swept through the region shortly after 5 p.m. 

Power was on in much of Sewickley but was out at the  gas station in Edgeworth,  Restaurant in Leetsdale, and , , GetGo and other businesses in the Quaker Village shopping plaza on Route 65.

Power was reportedly back on this morning at Giant Eagle and many of the other affected stores. 

Duquesne Light reported that about 500 customers remained without service after approximately 12,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm. At least 8,000 were still without service Monday night, with new reports of damage coming in.  

Joey Vallarian, spokesman with Duquesne Light Co., said the company received reports of 65 downed wires, three broken poles and nine damaged transformers. Crews had begun the process of restoring power yesterday by removing trees and repairing downed wires. 

"Downed wires are a safety hazard and should be avoided.  They pose the danger of electrical shock and injury.  Residents are advised to not drive over or go near downed wires," Vallarian said in a statement.

Vallarian said crews would be working throughout the night to restore power. When the restoration of service would occur was unknown, as the damage to the system was still being assessed.  Crews would be working throughout the night to restore power.

He said the areas hardest hit by the storm were Churchill, Forest Hills, Penn Hills, Plum and Wilkins Township.

Still, outages were widespread throughout Leetsdale and into Edgeworth and Bell Acres as well, Leetsdale Police said.

Lightning may have struck a transformer on Camp Meeting Road in Bell Acres, knocking out electricity to homes on surrounding roads, police said. High winds also knocked down tree limbs and utility wires around the valley. Traffic lights were knocked out along Route 65 until Cross Street in Leetsdale. 

Zack Perrott of Bell Acres said he arrived to work at Wendy's at 4 p.m., only to stop working about an hour later. Regardless of the outage, disappointed customers continued to pull up to the drive-through.

"I put a sign up in the window so customers are aware," Perrott said. 

Despite being in the dark, Giant Eagle in Leetsdale remained open for business following the outage. But at 9 p.m., store employees began turning customers away from the store as a "safety precaution," an employee said. The store normally closes at 1 a.m.

While some businesses such as GetGo and Giant Eagle remained without power Monday night, others such as BP gas station and Wendy's regained power, but remained closed. 


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