A strong storm that blew through the TIMES NEWS coverage area last night caused several power outages throughout Carbon and Schuylkill counties and forced PPL Electric to declare a "storm emergency" early this morning.

According to the PPL Electric Utilities outage center, located on the PPL Electric Web site, at 7 a.m., there were 290 residents without power in Carbon and more than 5,000 outages in Schuylkill.

Of the 290, East Penn Township suffered the most outages with 278, while Kidder Township had 11 customers without power, and Mahoning Township had one. An additional two customers in Penn Forest Township and one in Franklin Township were without power at 9 a.m.

In Schuylkill, 2,034 of the outages occurred in Rush Township, 1,986 in East Union Township, 914 in West Brunswick Township, 70 in West Penn Township, and five in Tamaqua.

Estimated restoration time, PPL states, for all areas in Carbon County, as well as Rush, Tamaqua, and West Penn Township is 3 p.m.

Corporal Duane Frederick of the Rush Township Police Department said that the department had been handling numerous calls about downed power lines and fallen trees, which are responsible for the majority of the power outages in Rush Township.

PPL crews have been working to restore power to all affected areas since early this morning. By press time, 35 customers in Carbon and 938 in Schuylkill were still without power.

Other areas in the counties experienced minor issues related to the storm.

In Summit Hill, Police Chief Joseph Fittos reported that the power in the borough flickered twice throughout the night, causing a mini power outage for a few minutes, but no long-term problems occurred.

State police at Lehighton said officers responded to a tree that was down across a roadway in Lower Towamensing Township early this morning.

Officials also said there was some minor flooding along Route 534.

The storm that came through the area last night brought strong winds and moderate precipitation from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.

Paula Hirjak, an operator at Central Carbon Municipal Authority, said that 2.07 inches of rain fell in the area during last night's storm.

It was also reported in Allentown, wind gusts of 58 mph were clocked at 5:32 a.m.; while 60 mph wind gusts were reported in Mount Pocono at 5:43 a.m.

According to the National Weather Service, today's forecast calls for partly sunny skies with possible wind gusts up to 28 mph.

Winds are expected to die down by this evening.