Montgomery County Officials Declare County A Natural Disaster Area

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140205/montgomery-county-officials-declare-county-a-natural-disaster-area

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Obama Declares Lancaster County An Emergency Area: What It Means

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/obama-declares-lancaster-county-an-emergency-area-what-it-means/article_851cb56a-8f60-11e3-8d16-0017a43b2370.html

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Storm Topples Trees Throughout Berks, Causing Power Outages

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/news/article/storm-topples-trees-throughout-berks-causing-power-outages#.UvKMBWOPKM8

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More New Jersey Shore Residents, Students Return

Map of New Jersey highlighting Ocean County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Ocean County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The slow process of recovery from Hurricane Sandy continues in New Jersey.

Students were reportedly back at school this morning on Long Beach Island, where residents were allowed to return Saturday and stay, if conditions permitted.

Power is back on for 99.8 percent of the 2.7 million who lost power after the Oct. 29 superstorm.  Still in the dark this morning were about 4,400 Jersey Central Power & Light customers, and only about 80 between PSE&G and Atlantic City Electric.

Traffic backed up this morning heading into Seaside Heights, in northern Ocean County, as residents were allowed to return to assess damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Read more:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121112_More_Shore_residents__students_return.html

‘Forgotten’ West Virginia Struggling In Sandy’s Aftermath

West Virginia counties map

West Virginia counties map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lights are back on in Lower Manhattan, but several West Virginia counties remain in the dark more than a week after Superstorm Sandy dumped up to 3 feet of snow in the state’s higher elevations.

Officials also say it could take at least six months to clear fallen trees in some areas.

While the worst is over, about 12,000 customers remained without power late Thursday and some back roads were still inaccessible, even as work and school resumed for many.

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Patti Michel said power was expected to be restored to 95 percent of customers by midnight.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/forgotten-west-virginia-struggling-in-sandys-aftermath-661316/#ixzz2BkNCUQqZ

City Of Lock Haven Asks For Cooperation During Superstorm

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clinton County

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.

Read more: http://www.lockhaven.com/page/content.detail/id/541754/City-asks-for-cooperation-during-superstorm.html?nav=5009

Pottstown Area Information Regarding Hurricane Sandy

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By 8:30 p.m. Sunday night, the storm shelter at Pottstown High School already had 20 guests.

In Pottstown, Hanover Street between Third and Fourth streets has been closed for low tree branches and power lines.  (Thanks to Tom Hylton!)

The Coventry Mall will close at 2 p.m. today.

However, as of 10:30 a.m., Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Target all planned to remain open throughout the day.

Read full story: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121029/NEWS01/121029419/click-for-local-hurricane-sandy-updates&pager=full_story

Berks County Braces For Hurricane Early Next Week

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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.

Reading Eagle: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=423464

Storm Knocks Down Trees, Power Lines

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.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=406413

Nearly 7,000 Still Without Power In NEPA

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wayne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Wayne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly 7,000 PPL Electric Utilities in Northeast Pennsylvania are still without power this morning due to Thursday’s thunderstorms.

A total of 6,737 PPL customers in Lackawanna, Wayne, Pike, Monroe, Susquehanna and Luzerne counties were still without power as of 8:30 a.m., according to the utility’s outage website.

Wayne County had greatest number of customers still without power this morning with 2,701 customers out, though an additional 1,040 had already been restored.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/nearly-7-000-still-without-power-in-nepa-1.1349415

Related story: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/storms-cause-damage-power-outages-throughout-nepa-1.1349069

Bicyclist Hit By Tree On Thun Trail During Last Night’s Violent Storm

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=403839

150,000 PECO Customers Still Without Power

PECO is reporting that at the height of yesterday’s freak blizzard, 250,000 customers were without power.  That number has been reduced to 150,000.

Chester, Bucks and Montgomery Counties were the hardest hit.  Customers in these three counties represent almost 100% of the 150,000 still left without power.

Irene Leaves More Than Two Dozen People Dead In U.S.

Irene claimed 27 lives in eight states according to CBS.

New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority has begun rebooting their massive system which was entirely shut down for the first time in its history due to weather.

13,000 flights were cancelled, nearly 5 million homes and business lost power at some point during the storm and damage is estimated at $7 billion dollars.

Already people are pointing fingers and crying overreaction.  I say better to overreact and save lives.  Things could have been much worse and we should be thankful for that.

Pottstown Borough Staff Have Taken Proactive Measures To Deal With Irene

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!

Roy’s Rants And North End Lose Power When Truck Hits Utility Poles

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!