Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NORRISTOWN, PA — Montgomery County officials issued a disaster declaration Wednesday in the wake of Tuesday night’s ice storm that intensified Wednesday morning. By 9:30 p.m., Governor Corbett signed a disaster emergency proclamation. Corbett explained through his Twitter account that the proclamation will assist state and local authorities in responding to the winter storm.
The county’s disaster declaration means that if needed, the county can receive funds from the federal government and the state government. Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro said the declaration of a disaster also allows for the county to bypass the RFP process for items, like blankets, to give to shelters. He said the disaster declaration does not allow the county to purchase more road salt.
He said the county roads are cleared for the most part and crews are on standby to salt the roads as melting snow and ice freezes into the night.
According to Montgomery County Director of Communications Frank Custer, between 4 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday there were 340 electrical fires reported throughout the county, 1,207 road obstructions and 164 vehicle accidents.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With thousands still without power, President Barack Obama on Thursday declared a state of emergency in Lancaster and six other Pennsylvania counties.
The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bring resources to the clean-up efforts.
While local officials were still unclear about the extent of federal aid on Thursday afternoon, a FEMA spokesman said the first tangible result will likely come to the county in the form of gas-powered generators.
Peter Herrick, of Philadelphia-based FEMA Region III, said federal emergency management officials were talking to their counterparts at the state level to determine what equipment is needed.
Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The heaviest precipitation that will hit Berks County today is over, but the storm has toppled numerous trees in the area, blocking roadways and causing power outages.
Nearly 9,000 customers are without power in the Met-Ed and PPL service areas in Berks.
As of 10 a.m., Met-Ed reported there were 5,500 outages in Reading and eastern and northern Berks, while PPL reported 3,200 customers were without power in Wyomissing, western Berks and the Morgantown area in southern Berks.
PPL reported 60,679 of its customers in a 16-county area of the state were affected by outages, while Met-Ed’s parent company, FirstEnergy, said there were 78,000 Pennsylvania customers affected.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clinton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
LOCK HAVEN – Hurricane Sandy has this region buzzing about the potential loss of power, high winds and even high water.
City officials are aware of the situation and ask everyone to cooperate to get through the next few days as the remnants of the superstorm blow through the region.
The city does not have enough temporary stop signs to cover every intersection with traffic signals, so if the electricity goes out and the signals go dark, drivers will have to use care, City Manager Richard W. Marcinkevage said.
“Use common sense and the rules of the road,” he advised.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Almost a year after a freak Halloween snowstorm buried Berks County, utility companies are preparing for the possibility of more rare weather: a hurricane that forecasters say could cause trouble here early next week.
Hurricane Sandy was still a long way off northeast of Cuba on Thursday, but it seemed to be heading this way with strong winds and heavy rain that could bring flooding, property damage and power outages, AccuWeather said.
There could be wind gusts of at least 50 mph and several inches of rain, meteorologist Tom Kines said.
The worst case is that it continues on its current northward track, while the best case is that it heads east out to sea, resulting in only a normal rainstorm, he said. If severe weather comes, it will most likely arrive Monday night or early Tuesday.
Trees fell, fires ignited and power lines came down Sunday as Berks County was hit by a thunderstorm that swept across the state bringing heavy winds, rain and lightning.
The heaviest part of the storm passed through the county between 5 and 6 p.m. It was followed by a spate of radio traffic from the 9-1-1 center dispatching emergency responders to deal with reported fallen trees around the county, and one case of a tree catching fire after it was struck by lightning, according to dispatchers.
The violent weather was caused by cool air hitting the hot and humid air that had been sitting over Berks the last few days, AccuWeather forecaster Erik Pindrock said.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A man riding his bicycle on the Thun Trail next to the Schuylkill River was hit on the head and knocked down by a falling tree Thursday night as a powerful thunderstorm roared through Berks County, felling trees, power lines and even street signs.
The rider, a middle-aged man who was not identified by emergency personal, managed to call 9-1-1 for help from under the large tree, which shattered his helmet and mangled his mountain bike.
The accident happened at 7:20 p.m. as the storm knocked down trees and wires across Berks. Transformers blew up, alarms went off in homes and commercial buildings and the lights flickered in the city.
County emergency dispatchers were able to direct city firefighters to a general area along the trail after using cell towers to triangulate the location of the injured man’s cellphone.
Jason Bobst, Pottstown Borough Manager, reported that the Borough of Pottstown has taken a number of steps to make sure residents have the services they need once the hurricane hits; and in the case of a worst possible scenario, a place to go!
The water and sewer plants have enough diesel fuel to run on until Tuesday, in the event electricity is lost.
A temporary shelter is being set up at Pottstown High School in the event that anyone in Western Montgomery County is forced from their home and needs shelter.
Jason is also asking residents to please not drive through barricaded areas where there is high water. Someone always does this and has to be rescued. FYI… if you do this and get caught you will get a summary violation and fined. This typically happens on Industrial Hwy or College Drive.
Borough employees are also ready to deal with fallen trees in the Hylton State Forest. They have the equipment in place to handle any trees that are toppled by the storm and dispose of them.
Pottstown will wait a while longer before deciding to declare a state of emergency. If this happens the borough will work with local fire departments to alert residents in the evacuation areas.
Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to the borough for being proactive!
We were without power for about four hours this afternoon when a semi, coming up Hale Street (never a good idea), tried to make a left hand turn on Mineral Street and took out five utility poles. Above/below are some pictures from the scene. Took us out of commission all afternoon, on a good writing day….grrrrrr.
One of the firemen on duty said he lives on Grant Street and the power flickered there shortly before he got the call about the accident. It is amazing how little one can do in this day and age without electricity. Many thanks to PECO for restoring our power! Also many thanks to Pottstown police, fire and rescue workers for promptly arriving on the scene!