Power outages hit Northumberland County, but no tornado
ELYSBURG - A downed tree fell onto a power line in Ralpho Township and halted electric service to 1,300 homes and businesses in the Paxinos and Elysburg areas Tuesday.
National Weather Service had issued a tornado watch for Northumberland County and 16 other counties Tuesday afternoon. However, a NWS meteorologist said there were no reports of any exceptionally high winds.
Power service was disrupted shortly before 11 a.m. as wind gusts picked up during heavy rain storms, and a handful of customers were without power for more than four hours.
Teri MacBride, PPL spokeswoman, said the tree fell in the area of the Sealed Air plant in Paxinos.
Also, there was a report of a downed tree along Reading Turnpike near Marley Road, about 1 1/2 miles from the plant.
Emergency personnel were dispatched to Routes 487 and 54 in Elysburg to direct traffic as the traffic signals were out of service. Gas stations and restaurants at that busy intersection were all without power, too.
MacBride said PPL crews manually worked on the damaged line and restored power in sections.
Eight-hundred seventy customers were brought back online about noon and another 413 about 12:50 p.m. That second group of customers, however, were without power for another seven minutes before the final repair was made about 3 p.m., restoring power to all of the affected customers, she said.
Reports of downed trees were keeping emergency personnel busy throughout at least the southeastern end of Northumberland County, including in Lower Augusta and Lower Mahanoy townships.
The storms passed through most of the eastern half of Pennsylvania. Just before the final repair was made on the Ralpho Township power line, PPL's website reported more than 12,000 customers in 21 counties were without power.
The meteorologist said winds topped out at 31 mph in Selinsgrove, the closest NWS weather station to the Shamokin area. He said rainfall for Tuesday was 2.76 inches and expected that number would grow slightly as the storms cleared out.
Tuesday's rainfall is expected to be the area's last for the next three days.
NWS Forecasts for today, Thursday and Friday are sunny with high temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s. Showers could make for a wet Saturday, at times, as there's a 40 percent chance of rain.