In a few moments Thursday night, a severe thunderstorm wreaked havoc through parts of McKean County, possibly collapsing a structure in Port Allegany and flooding roads throughout the Smethport and Port Allegany areas.
Hail was reported in Smethport, including at the McKean County Fair, where about an inch of water poured into the Grange building.
Numerous calls were received by the McKean County 911 center beginning around 7 p.m. Radio reports indicated there were various issues at once in Port Allegany: a structure collapse on North Brooklynside, power lines down and a tree on a structure at 21 Roper Road, a roof in the roadway on North Main Street and flooded roads, including on Route 46.
Around 7:08 p.m. a report was received of a tree on a vehicle, one person injured but conscious and alert in Liberty Township on U.S. Route 6.
Route 6 was also closed from Port Allegany to Smethport.
Meanwhile, the storm moved toward Smethport, causing flooding across the roadway near Herzog’s and Route 46 in Farmer’s Valley to be shut down at the International Waxes Plant and Newton Road completely washed out in Keating Township.
The Smethport Fire Department was very busy Thursday night, Assistant Chief Wayne Foltz confirmed.
Foltz said there were “lots of trees down and roads flooded.” He said the department was just dispatched to a structure fire with the Star Hose Co. in Port Allegany, too, at the time The Era reached him.
Other reports indicated the top of Route 59 near the golf course was flooded and not passable.
A call just before 8 p.m. reported an individual stuck in a vehicle in four feet of water on Pierce Brook Road. Norwich Township Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to assist the motorist.
Reports were also received that the bridge at Champlain Hill and Pine Grove near Turtlepoint and the bridge near the golf course in Smethport were both washed out.
A flash flood warning was issued shortly after the storm hit the area, put in effect until 10:30 p.m. for northeast McKean and northwest Potter counties. Estimates showed nearly three inches of rain had already fallen and two inches more were expected with a second storm that moved through the area shortly after the first.
Port Allegany emergency responders were also called to deal with a tree struck by lightning near 207 Chestnut Street, which caught fire, and a little after 9 p.m. to a house fire at 135 Upper Portage Road, with Austin, Roulette, Coudersport and Smethport called to assist.
Also at the fairgrounds, the races were canceled, and the musical performance at the mini stage was cut short.