A line of February thunderstorms ripped though the Lehigh Valley late Saturday afternoon, leaving a mess of downed trees, closed roads and power outages behind it.
There was penny-sized hail reported in Allentown from the storm that quickly rolled though between 4:30 and 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Wind gusts topping 45 mph were recorded, the weather service said, with one gust near Reading, Pa., reaching 65 mph.
Most of the damage initially reported in the Lehigh Valley was from downed trees, poles and wires, according to dispatchers in Lehigh and Northampton counties. No injuries were immediately reported.
The dispatchers said the brunt of the storm seemed to be to the north of the counties, with Slatington, Walnutport, Bushkill Township and Plainfield Township getting a lot of reports.
Valley just had its warmest Feb. day on record
Power outages were spread sporadically throughout the region. PPL's online outage map showed about 1,800 without power in the Allentown area as of 5:40 p.m. More than 1,500 had been affected in the Nazareth area, according to Met-Ed, though many appeared to have been restored in a short time.
Outages were also widespread in northwest New Jersey, with between 500 and 1,500 affected in the Franklin Township area of and a number of smaller areas impacted in northern Warren County, according to JCP&L.
As for the traffic impacts, flooding shut down Route 22 in both directions east of Roseberry Street in Lopatcong Township, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Southbound Route 94 in Frelinghuysen Township was also shut down due to a downed tree.
On the Pennsylvania side, PennDOT warned of debris on Interstate 78 east near Route 222, but that appeared to have be cleared as of 5:45 p.m.
Behind the storms, more seasonable weather will return. Highs are expected to be in the 50s on Sunday, down from the temperatures in the 60s and 70s the last few days.
Steve Novak may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @type2supernovak and Facebook. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.
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