WESTERN PA. Winds knock down electric lines, trees



There were more than 15,000 people without electrical power in Lawrence, Mercer and Columbiana counties.
As many as 200 people in Mercer County were still without electricity this morning after a weekend storm in which high winds knocked down trees and power lines.
Some of those people may have power restored sometime tonight, said Randall Coleman, spokesman for First Energy/Penn Power. Others will be without electricity until they make repairs to the homes, he said.
The high winds knocked trees into power lines and a few houses throughout the Shenango Valley.
Number affected: At its peak the power outage affected about 6,200 people in Mercer County and 4,300 in Lawrence County. All power outages caused by the wind storm had been restored in Lawrence County this morning.
Power company officials said the outages were widespread in both counties, and no one area was mostly affected.
Coleman said those without power this morning were mostly in the northern end of Mercer County and some scattered throughout the rest of the county.
Jim Thompson, Mercer County 911 director, said there were several emergency calls late Saturday night and early Sunday morning from homebound people who needed oxygen and other items depleted because of the power outage. Ambulance services were sent to help those people, he said.
Firefighters reported trees into houses in Sharon and Farrell and downed wires throughout those communities. No injuries were reported.
The American Red Cross provided shelter for the Farrell family, said Rebecca Payne, executive director of the Mercer County American Red Cross.
Shelters set up: The Red Cross also set up warming shelters in Sharon and Sandy Lake on Sunday, but no one responded and they were closed after about four hours, she said.
Firefighters in Sandy Lake went door to door to check on residents and alert them to the shelter, Payne added. Most people had gone to a relative's home where there was power or had fireplaces to keep them warm, she said.
In Columbiana County, about 14 households in the Rogers area remained without power today. Power is expected to be restored today to those customers, LuAnn Koch, an Ohio Edison area manager, said this morning.
Nearly 5,100 households and businesses were without power following the storm, which downed trees, large branches and power lines. Some outages lasted about an hour, a smaller portion stretched to more than 10 hours, Koch said.

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