Several inches of rain drenched the Philadelphia region overnight, bringing cooler temperatures, some relief for withering lawns, and thousands of lightning strikes.
A lightning strike seriously injured a 3-year-old boy and his 21-year-old babysitter at a Bucks County swim club yesterday afternoon. About three hours after the incident in Bucks County, a Bethel Township police officer was hit by lightning after a bolt struck the roof of the Bethel Fire Station on Foulk Road, then struck the officer, said Bethel Fire Chief Mike Heacock. Heacock said the officer is expected to make a full recovery.
The front that brought the severe weather has crawled out to sea, but watch out. Another one is on the way, forecasters said.
Some sun is on tap for today, and if it's not masked by clouds, temperatures could reach the low to mid-80s. "Pretty good sleeping weather" is in store tonight, meteorologists said, with lows in the upper 50s.
More wet weather is on the horizon, but it'll be more "hit or miss" and not nearly as violent as the storms that rumbled through the region during the last two days.
The thunderstorms that rocked the area yesterday and early this morning caused trees to topple and power lines to snap.
Peco reported close to 70,000 outages overnight in the five-county Philadelphia region, with the majority located in Delaware and Chester Counties, said Peco spokesman Ted Caddell.
PSE&G reported more than 26,000 outages from the storms and were working this morning to restore power to 1,900 customers still without service.
About Peco 4,000 customers were still in the dark early this morning, Caddell said.
"We've got extra crews out there right now to restore power," he said.
Caddell said the outages were caused by a mix of fallen trees and downed limbs as well as lightning strikes, all of which came in three waves of thunderstorms late yesterday.
The National Weather Service counted more than 4,000 lightning strikes last night in the region during a two hour period.
"Between 7 and 8 p.m. there were about 1,500 cloud to ground strikes," said Anthony Gigi, a Weather Service meteorologist. "From 8 to 9 p.m. we counted 2,800.
"That's a lot," Gigi said. "We don't keep statistics on strikes, but it's on the high side."
Nearly 2 inches of rain fell at Philadelphia International Airport during a 30-hour period beginning Wednesday before dawn, Gigi said. In Delaware, 2.8 inches fell on Wilmington during the same period, Gigi said.
No major flooding was reported.
"Thankfully, it came down in enough spurts that it didn't cause any of our known creeks to go over," Gigi said.
The flood watch has been discontinued.
"This is the worse storm I've seen in three years," said Terrence Gilmore, 49, as he walked his dog Sonny in Wynnefield this morning.
"We were driving down 54th Street around 5 p.m. and trees were falling all around us."
Most of the system that brought the rumbling weather has drifted out to sea.
A less energetic system lurking to the west could threaten to put a damper on the weekend with additional showers and thunderstorms through Sunday.