Storms drop hail, down trees in Westmoreland
New Stanton and Youngwood appeared to get the worst of a severe storm system that spurred a tornado watch early Tuesday evening.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Westmoreland County during the evening rush hour, with unconfirmed reports from county emergency dispatchers that a funnel cloud had touched down near Youngwood.
Edward Homchak, who lives in Middletown Road in Hempfield, said he did not see anything resembling a tornado.
He heard what sounded like rocks hitting his roof shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening, and opened his front door to see hail falling.
“It was probably a little bigger than a quarter,” Homchak said. “It lasted about 10 minutes.”
The storm downed multiple trees in the Youngwood area, and Turnpike officials reported that the New Stanton Service Plaza was closed due to a power loss shortly after 6:30 p.m.
West Penn Power’s parent company FirstEnergy reported several outages in Westmoreland as of 9 p.m., two of which are affecting between 20 and 100 customers in the Kecksburg area and another just southwest of Stahlstown. A few other sporadic outages were shown to be affecting between 1 and 20 customers.
All of the NWS’s tornado warnings have been allowed to expire as of 8 p.m. but a tornado watch remained in effect for much of Pennsylvania until 11 p.m.