First heat,then wind
Although nothing like the low level tornadoes that swept through the region two weeks ago, the area was hit by damaging winds against last evening.
The quick-moving thunderstorm, which resulted in a number of temporary road closures due to downed trees and debris on roads, followed a sweltering day of searing temperatures that reached triple digits in some areas.
Homes in West Penn, Rush and Walker Townships were still without power this morning.
In Tamaqua, a plastic shed was partly blown onto the road on Biddle Street. The shed's roof landed on the hood of a construction van that was driving by.
Mahoning Mountain Road in Mahoning Township was closed to traffic in the evening after the high winds toppled a large tree. The scene was just south of SR443. Mahoning Township police, with the assistance of the township fire police, closed the roadway for several hours.
Also, downed PPL lines set a tree on fire along Dinkey Road in East Penn Township. East Penn fire police blocked off the roadway since power lines were lying across both lanes.
A number of heat records fell across the state on Thursday. Philadelphia hit 99 degrees, beating a record set in 1933. Reading was close behind at 98, tying a record from 1933, Williamsport reached 95 and Harrisburg, 94.
Schools without air conditioning closed early for a second day. Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown reported several cases of heat exhaustion, including two children who had been visiting Dorney Park. A roofer who suffered heat stroke Wednesday was admitted and remained at the hospital Thursday afternoon.
"We're seeing more cases than we have normally," spokesman Brian Downs said. "It shouldn't have caught people by surprise, but maybe they weren't ready for it."
Some farmers welcomed the hot weather after an extremely wet spring.
"The sunny conditions are helping to dry out the hay crop, allowing farmers to harvest that crop. In addition, the dry weather should be helpful in getting corn to grow faster, after much of the corn crop was planted late due to prolonged wet weather throughout the spring," said Mark O'Neill of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.