Severe storms hit Pittsburgh, close roads

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Several hundred utility customers remain without power tonight after severe storms moved quickly through Western Pennsylvania earlier in the day.

More than 8,000 Duquesne Light customers were without service immediately after the afternoon thunderstorms, and 3,900 remained without power as of 9:30 tonight, spokesman Joey Vallarian said.

A flash-flood warning for eastern parts of Allegheny County expired around 6:15 p.m.

Washington Boulevard has reopened. Flooding had prompted the city to close the flood gates on the boulevard for the first time since they were installed after three people died in a flash flood there in 2011, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said.

Flooding also closed Penn Avenue in East Liberty.

Pittsburgh police said a downed tree closed Allegheny River Boulevard between Verona Road and Washington Boulevard. The tree is not affecting outbound traffic.

Allegheny County reported a transformer fire at South Braddock Avenue and Tuscarora Street in Point Breeze and that a house in McKeesport was on fire after being struck by lightning.

An Allegheny County emergency dispatch supervisor said reports of flooding, downed wires and houses being struck by lightning were coming in from across the county.

All swift water rescue teams are on standby to be deployed, he said.

Ms. Richard said no injuries or accidents from flooding had been reported.

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Lexi Belculfine: or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc. First Published July 16, 2013 8:30 PM


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