Strong storms that swept through the Oil Region late Wednesday afternoon brought with them some flooding problems and downed trees, but not the same impact that earlier storms had caused to areas south of us.
Wednesday morning storms caused flooding problems in Butler and in many Pittsburgh suburbs, including Bridgeville, Mount Lebanon, Oakdale, Castle Shannon and Jefferson Hills. An afternoon tornado was reported along State Route 168 in New Beaver Township in southern Lawrence County. Eyewitnesses reported a funnel cloud touched down, and destroyed a barn and a machine shop.
As the late afternoon storms approached the Oil Region, a flood warning was posted for Mercer County. By early evening, flood warnings were also in effect for Crawford, Erie, Butler, Armstrong and Jefferson Counties.
Some areas saw rain falling at rates of 1-to-2 inches per hour. Three people were evacuated from a flooded trailer park in Shenango Township in Lawrence County. Meanwhile, some weather bulletins that preceded the storms warned of the possibility of wind gusts approaching 70 miles per hour.
As of Thursday morning, twelve communities in the Pittsburgh area had already applied for disaster relief. Some 40,000 people near Pittsburgh were still without power.