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Thunderstorm leaves wake of damage, power outages

Xander Torrence, of Cranberry Township, cleans up from a storm Monday, June 17, at his Ruth Street home. Mikayla Torrence/Special to the Eagle

The expected weeklong heat wave in Butler County started with a bang — literally — as a thunderstorm swept through Butler on Monday afternoon, June 17, leaving thousands of residents without power.

Numerous roads were closed as a result of storm damage. As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Department reported road closures at five locations in its area due to downed wires, including Dover Drive, Goehring Road and Glen Rape Road.

Between noon on Monday and noon on Tuesday, police departments in Butler County responded to 87 reports of wires down.

The storm also left thousands of residents and businesses without power, including some who have yet to get theirs back nearly 24 hours after the storm.

According to West Penn Power representative Todd Meyers, about 5,000 customers lost service as a result of Monday’s storm, including 2,800 in Adams Township and 1,360 in Cranberry Township.

“The majority of Penn Power’s customers without electric service should have their power restored by Wednesday night at 11 p.m.,” Meyers said.

Meanwhile, Butler County’s other major power supplier, Central Electric Cooperative, is reporting no customers without power in Butler County, although there are presently more than 100 cooperative customers without service in neighboring Venango County.

Central Electric primarily serves the northern part of Butler County.

“There were a few scattered outages last night (in Butler County),” said Nikki Staley, a communications supervisor. “Our one substantial outage was due to some broken poles. But that was in Rimersburg, which is in Clarion County.”

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