The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 8, 2014

Severe storms blow through Susquehanna Valley

[Update: 12:46 a.m.] SUNBURY — A severe thunderstorm accompanied by high winds sometimes topping 60 mph swept across the Valley early Tuesday evening, wreaking havoc by uprooting trees, taking down powerlines and knocking power out at more than a combined 13,000 PPL and Citizens’ Electric customers.

At 6:45, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the Millersburg area into southern Northumberland County. About 45 minutes later, a similar warning was issued for eastern Northumberland County, but there were no reports of twisters.

In all, Northumberland County had 5,903 PPL customers without power reported at 10 p.m. Worst hit were 1,711 customers in Delaware Township; Lewis Township, 1,691; Milton borough, 1,155; and West Chillisquaque, 406.

In Union County, 3,220 Citizens’ Electric customers were without power, almost 47 percent of their total customers, according to the company’s website outage page. Elsewhere in the county, 3,443 PPL customers were without power, with the worst damage in White Deer Township, counting 3,138 customers without power.

Montour County had a total of 2,204 customers without power with 1,519 Anthony Township customers bearing the brunt of the outages. Also hit hard were 660 Liberty Township customers.

Snyder County somehow escaped with little damage. Twenty-one customers were reported without power.

All of this was caused by a massive, squall line of thunderstorms that ranged from western Pennsylvania down to Maryland and West Virginia, said Randy Akins, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, in State College.

Akins noted that although there was a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service, “We did not find any evidence that a tornado had touched ground.”

The storm cells moved at a rapid 35 to 40 mph, Akins said, “and at their fastest, that’s where the wind gusts were heaviest.”

A tree on Susquehanna Avenue  in Sunbury was completely uprooted and fell on the front lawn of a house, barely missing a car, a neighbor said. Another fell at Reagan Street and Eighth Alley, striking a home. A report of damage was no available.

Several trees fell on roadways throughout the Valley, causing police to stop traffic while street crews cleaned up.

In Kulpmont, a lightning strike reportedly caused a house fire.

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