Storm with high winds roars through Kane area

A fast-moving storm with booming thunder, spectacular lightning and high winds roared through the Kane area Thursday afternoon and left many downed trees in its wake."You've had a busy afternoon up there," Meteorologist Richard Grumm said Thursday from his office at the National Weather Service complex in State College.Grumm said the storm packed winds of between 50 and 55 mph. He said these damaging winds toppled trees. Falling trees knocked out electrical service to many residents in the area.Robi Lombardo, a spokesman for West Penn Power, said there were 6,476 power outages reported in McKean County and 6,600 outages in Elk County. He said the company "hopes" to have power restored by today to most customers.Grumm said the storm developed over Lake Erie and moved south from west to east. He said "weak rotation" was observed within the storm system. He said the National Weather Service received "several" reports of "rotating systems with possible tornadoes." However, he said his office could not confirm the existence of tornadoes in the system. He said further investigation is expected to take place today.Kane Fire Chief Tim Holt said the McKean County 911 Emergency Center "activated" the tornado siren in Kane at 2:50 p.m. He said no tornadoes were confirmed in the Kane area.The Kane tornado siren has been in operation since the 1985 killer tornado in East Kane.See full article by purchasing the July 27 edition of The Kane Republican.