The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 30, 2012

LATEST ON STORM IN REGION: Thousands still without power.

Emergency crews were busy overnight responding to downed trees, power outages, minor flooding and leaving thousands without power during the onslaught of the superstorm created by what had been Hurricane Sandy.

In Somerset and Bedford counties Sandy brought several inches of wet snow, bringing down more trees and snapping power lines.

As of this morning, Somerset County has 3,300 customers and Bedford County has 2,600 customers without power, First Energy/Penelec spokesman Scott Surgeoner said.

But in Cambria County, the high number of power outages feared did not materialize.

As of 10 a.m. only seven customers in Cambria County remain without power, Surgeoner said.

"There were not many who lost power, the winds in Cambria County were not as bad as anticipated," he said.

As long as wind gusts persist, the restorations will be hampered, he said.

"We have crews out, we can only work the crews in bucket trucks when wind is below 40 miles per hour," he said. "They are out and working day and night and will be working until we get everyone restored," he said.

REA Energy out of Indiana, with offices in Ebensburg, reported that 142 of its members lost power through the night, but as of this morning all had been restored.

In preparing for the storm REA had contractor crews from out of the area on standby if needed, but they have been released and made available to assist other cooperatives in the state, spokesperson Stacy Patterson said.

"In addition, REA has sent three, two-men crews to assist other Pennsylvania cooperatives in outage restoration," Patterson said.

Rainfall totaling more than three and a half inches was recorded over the past 24 hours at John Murtha Cambria County Airport.

Johnstown City Fire Department responded to about 30 calls since yesterday, but Somerset County appears to have sustained the most damage.

A bridge washed out on Shaffer Run Road near Moore School Road in Jefferson Township.

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