High winds whip through area


Hawk Eye Staff

A downed pine tree blocks the entrance to a driveway of a home in Bethel Park.

The Pittsburgh area was whipped by high-speed winds on Sunday, leaving many neighborhoods powerless for the night.

Sunday morning, winds started to pick up, and by the end of the night, houses were stripped of gutters and siding, utility poles and wires were knocked down and large trees were felled onto houses and across roadways.

The totals in power outages have continued to climb deep into the thousands. According to Duquesne Light Co., as of 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, there have been 125,000 customers left powerless at some point.

This wind storm ranks in the top 3 within the past 20 years in terms of outages and total damage.

There were 125 utility poles and 500 downed wires as a result of the winds. Gusts reached 65 mph, which is 9 mph lower than hurricane-level winds.

Multiple schools including Canon-McMillan, Peters Township, and Pine Richland have canceled school at least once in the past two days. Even William Penn elementary in Bethel Park was canceled Tuesday due to a power line that was not yet fixed.

Many students in the District have been directly affected or know someone who was directly affected.

“I was up at 1:30 a.m. chopping down a tree in my yard,” said senior Dom Koenig, who shared his experience with the winds Sunday night.

As of Feb. 27, 7,500 Duquesne Light customers are still left without power and 10 of those are in Bethel Park. 69 West Penn Power customers are still without power in Bethel Park.