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Downtown Travel Discouraged Following Strong Thunderstorm

Update, 7:45 p.m.: All roads in the borough that closed due to the storm have now reopened.

Update, 5:30 p.m.: The borough said all roads are now reopened except for East Branch Road.

Update, 4:15 p.m.: The question on everyone’s mind:

Update, 3:15 p.m.: A few roads are officially closed, according to State College police. They include:

  • College Ave. between Garner and Pugh streets
  • Branch Road between Hunter and Country Club
  • Heister Street between College Ave. and Calder Way will be closed for “an extended period of time”

Original Story: State College police are advising community members to avoid traveling downtown Wednesday afternoon after a strong thunderstorm downed trees and cut power from a few traffic lights.

The most noticeable fallen trees were outside College Ave.’s Yallah Taco, where one fell crossing the road. More came down a few blocks over on Heister Street near Saloon.

More damage was spotted near Allen Street and Old Main, where an uprooted tree and even a toppled CATA bus sign fell due to the brief storm.

In a statement posted on Twitter around 2:45 p.m., the borough said State College police and its Department of Public Works were dispatched to clear major roadways first. It also encouraged people to avoid downtown travel when possible.

At the time of writing, a severe thunderstorm watch from the National Weather Service is in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday. Storms could produce quarter-sized hail, 70 mph wind gusts, and lightning.

AccuWeather’s forecast says more thunderstorms could roll in between 7 and 9 p.m.

FirstEnergy Storm Center’s outage map estimates that nearly 2,400 Centre County residents are without power following Wednesday’s storm. Most approximated restoration times are around 5 or 6 p.m.

We’ll update this post with more information as it becomes available.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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