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Powerful Storms Leave Behind Big Mess For Local Residents

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There's a big mess to clean up for lots of people today after Thursday's powerful storms left their mark across the area.

The storms left a messy trail marking their presence, from downed trees to landslides to tens of thousands of people without power.

Surprisingly, a neighbor says no one along Jo Deener Road in Zelienople lost electricity when a tree fell on power lines along the roadway. By Friday morning, it was still resting along the lines, waiting to be removed.

The biggest concern in Butler County was the thousands of customers without power.

"They have about 11,000 customers still remaining out right now. That was our hardest hit area," said Rob Lombardo, West Penn Power's spokesperson, Friday morning. "We had over 24,000 customers out just in our West Penn Power service territory in Butler and Armstrong counties."

Crews worked through the night, making progress but still dealing with an overwhelming number of outages. Lombardo says the hope is that everyone in the First Energy, Penn Power, and West Penn Power service areas will have power by Sunday morning.

"Our crews are trying to get everyone restored as fast and as safe as they possibly can," added Lombardo.

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Meanwhile, plywood and tarps are the only protection now from the elements at the Middlesex Township Volunteer Fire Station in Butler County.

The high winds caused the roof to peel off the structure like the lid on a sardine can. There was water damage inside from the relentless rains.

In Ross Township, it's a muddy mess spilling down the hillside off Virginia Avenue.

A tree marks where a township ordinance sign once stood alongside the guardrail. The gas company has installed a temporary line since the main is exposed and bearing the weight of crumbled asphalt.

"There's about four feet of mud into the back of that house," said Chris Eyster, a neighbor, of the damage.

And in Armstrong County, PennDOT officials say State Route 1034 from the intersection of 1031 to Ridge Road in Boggs Township has been closed due to downed utility lines.

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