The National Weather Service says much of the damage caused by storms that raced through western Pennsylvania late Wednesday was the result of what they termed “straight line winds” that reached an incredible 90 miles per hour.
The winds were especially devastating in southern Venango County communities from Barkeyville to Emlenton, where several homes and businesses lost their roofs or were damaged by falling trees.
Businesses in the Mercer County communities of Sharon and Sharpsville lost roofs, as did a home in the Clarion area.
Roads in Clarion, Butler and Armstrong Counties were closed, and classes at A-C Valley schools started on a two-hour delay on Thursday morning.
By Thursday afternoon, the Weather Service had issued a flood watch for all of the Oil Region. Weather forecasters on Friday morning were saying extensive rains could continue through early Friday afternoon, and the outlook thereafter called for a 40 percent chance of showers through Saturday.