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National Weather Service to visit County for storm damage survey

June 17, 2019 News Extra

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Officials for the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh are expected to be in Butler, Armstrong and Clarion counties this morning to conduct a storm damage survey.

Severe thunderstorms cut an isolated path of damage in Parker Township, Butler County and neighboring Parker City in Armstrong County and Perry Township in Clarion County, emergency crews said.

“We will be heading (to) the Parker PA area (today) to determine if a tornado produced the damage to all the trees and several farm buildings,” the weather service said on Twitter about 6:10 p.m. Sunday.

Fred McMullen, a weather service meteorologist, said he would be part of a two-man assessment team. He estimated they would be in the area between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

“We'll be looking key indicators like the damage pattern, the debris field left behind , and taking eyewitness accounts,” McMullen said.

An inspection of the size of trees that were knocked over could also indicate the wind speed.

Dave Blair, assistant chief for the Bruin Volunteer Fire Department, said he expected to participate in the damage survey this morning.

Blair said four homes in Parker Township sustained damages between 5:30 and 6 p.m. when the storm hit. Trees fell on at least two of the homes

A tractor-trailer/truck wash business was also damaged. No injuries were reported.

“From the damage,” Blair said, “the storm hit just a sliver of Parker Township.” That silver in part apparently cut along Parker Pike off Route 268 near the Parker City line.

The road was closed for more than an hour as a PennDOT crew was called in to clear large trees that were blocking the road.

About 50 West Penn Power customers in the township were left without electricity during and after the storm.

Blair said all of the residents in the damaged homes in the township were able to return. But several damaged homes in Parker City were “uninhabitable,” he said.

“Parker City got the most damage,” Blair said.

But McMullen said his reports are that Parkers Corners and Dutch Hill in Clairon County also sustained “a lot” of damage.

Blair said by the look of the damage, it appeared the debris field was twisted, indicating a possible tornado.

The weather service at 5:20 p.m. Sunday issued a tornado warning for Butler, Armstrong, Clarion and Venango counties. The warning was later extended until 6:45 p.m.

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