Rain & winds cut power, close schools in Pa. (PHOTOS)

PHILADELPHIA - September 18, 2012

The National Weather Service reported 8 inches of rain in Albrightsville, 5.51 inches in Lehighton and 5.35 inches in Beltzville, while records of 5.1 inches at Mount Pocono and 2.14 inches in Williamsport were set.

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Peco reported 45,000 customers without power, most of them in Montgomery and Chester counties, after the storm passed through, breaking off branches and toppling trees that brought down power lines. A spokeswoman said the number had been reduced to less than 9,000 late Tuesday night throughout the five-county Philadelphia area.

PPL reported more than 4,600 customers without power late Tuesday night in Monroe County while FirstEnergy reported more than 1,700 customers without power in Pike County and more than 1,200 out in Berks County.

In the Poconos, emergency officials reported a number of roads closed and urged residents to stay off the roads if possible and drive with caution if they had to go out. Many after-school activities and meetings were canceled.

The Springford Area School District will be closed Wednesday because a number of schools are without power.

Officials will advise parents when classes will resume later in the week.

Forecasters canceled a tornado watch issued earlier for 10 counties in Pennsylvania.

Ini New Jersey,thousands of utility customers in New Jersey have lost power as severe thunderstorms move through the region.

The storms, which contained heavy rains and strong winds, hit the state Tuesday and continued into the evening. Most of New Jersey also remained under a tornado watch.

Jersey Central Power and Light says nearly 17,000 customers had no electricity Tuesday night, while up to 14,000 customers of PSE&G remained without service. But all customers were expected to have power restored sometime late Tuesday.

The storms also caused property damage across the state.

Wind gusts ripped a facade from a tattoo shop on the Wildwood boardwalk, while falling debris also damaged the boardwalk. And the top of an old oak tree landed on the roof of a home in Ridgewood.

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