NEW CASTLE —
The most power outages were reported in Shenango Township, he said, where about 1,200 customers were without electricity.
In other municipalities, there were fewer than 100 outages he said, and cited 85 in New Castle, 76 in Slippery Rock Township, 75 in Pulaski and 30 in New Beaver.
Melcer also noted a primary power line was down in the area of the tornado.
A house collapsed in Taylor Township, Melcer said, but the residents got out. He also noted some callers reported they were trapped in vehicles.
But as of 6:30 p.m., he said, there were “no injuries that we know of.”
At that time, Melcer said, no disaster had been declared in the county. He said he had spoken with Dan Vogler, Lawrence County commissioner chairman, but “it’s too early to assess.”
So far, “we’ve been able to handle things with the personnel and resources we have. Ultimately, it will be up to the commissioners to decide,” he said, adding he has been keeping them in the loop.
New Castle Fire Chief Tom Maciarello said most of the flooding in the city was on the East Side.
There were lots of reports of flooded basements, he said, and numerous calls of people stuck in their cars. He said the drains couldn’t handle the flow from the heavy rain.
Some streets were closed to traffic, including Jefferson Street, which had flooding near the railroad crossing, Maciarello said. Police also had a portion of Mill Street closed at the intersection with Grove Street.
Maciarello noted several city streets were torn up because of the flooding.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation closed two roads Wednesday because of flooding. They were a portion of Industrial Street in Taylor Township and Moravia Street between Reynolds Street and Gardner Avenue in New Castle.
During the course of Wednesday’s tornado warning, customers at Giant Eagle in Neshannock Township were taken into the store’s coolers as a precaution.
The remained there for about 20 minutes.
The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said a certified weather spotter had reported twisters in the southern portion of the county.
“But we don’t have confirmation until tomorrow,” a spokesman said.
At that time, he explained, a storm survey will be conducted to determine the tracking and intensity of the storm and wind speed.
(News reporters John Manna and Carol Colaizzi contributed to this story.)