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Power restored to most in Pittsburgh area after massive outages

Massive power outages impacting Western Pennsylvania
Massive power outages impacting Western Pennsylvania 03:46

UPDATE: Duquesne Light said in an update on Thursday that only about 650 people are without power, and it's expected to be restored by Friday, with many customers earlier than that. 

The previous story is below. 

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — About 5,000 people are without power after storms hit Western Pennsylvania on Monday evening amid a possible heat wave, and some may not have power until this weekend. 

Severe weather rolled through the area on Monday evening, as many people saw severe thunderstorm warnings in their cities.

Duquesne Light Company said about 1,600 customers don't have power as of 8:58 p.m. on Wednesday, but the company has worked to restore power to more than 90,000 customers. 

FirstEnergy, which includes West Penn Power, said less than 600 Pittsburgh-area customers don't have power as of 8:47 p.m. Wednesday.

Monday night into early Tuesday, more than 100,000 people were without power, but crews worked to restore power to tens of thousands of people.

In a news release on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., Duquesne Light said the estimated time of restoration for all customers is 1 p.m. on June 23, "with many customers expected to be restored sooner." 

Duquesne Light added that crews from American Electric Power in Ohio and West Virginia have helped with restoration efforts. 

"With the potential for more storms and heat-related issues this week, the estimated time of restoration could move into next week," Duquesne Light said. 

Pittsburgh bracing for heat wave

The Pittsburgh area is under an excessive heat warning that lasts through Friday. A heat wave is a stretch of three or more days in a row with temperatures in the high 90s with no point during the stretch falling below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Western Pennsylvania has not seen this type of heat wave since 1988, and the National Weather Service has only issued three excessive heat watches since 2011. 

Several cooling centers are open to help people catch a break from the heat. Also, doctors are stressing the importance of listening to your body when it comes to potential heat-related illness.

Storms cause significant damage in Pittsburgh area

The severe weather that rolled through the area on Monday evening brought strong winds that knocked down trees and fences. The wind also ripped off roofs and bent poles. 

In Verona, many people are without power. Some people sat outside their homes on Monday evening because of their lack of air conditioning. 

"We were at the wave pool, saw lightning, told us to leave," mother of three Sheila McHenry said. "On the way home, it got bad. We came back to this. Power was out."

At the A. J. Demor Towers, a senior high rise in Verona, emergency officials evacuated the building, which does not have power. Power has been out since 5:30 p.m. on Monday and there is no generator, the mayor said. 

"Whoever owns this, I don't know if it changed hands or not, but they need to be liable for this," Verona Mayor Dave Ricupero said on Monday night. "And I'm going to have a meeting tomorrow with my code enforcement officer to come down here and go through this building."

Verona's mayor added that the building also has no emergency lighting. 

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