PECO: Montgomery County Ice Storm Second Worst For Power Outages Since Hurricane Sandy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — A PECO spokesperson said they are looking into a multiple day restoration process for 67 percent of customers without power in Montgomery County.

At 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, 181,902 of the 302,600 PECO customers in Montgomery County are without power—not all Montgomery County residents are PECO customers— and crews are in the area trying to turn the lights back on.

“We’re looking at the second worst storm for power outages since Hurricane Sandy,” PECO Spokesperson Cathy Engel Mendez said on Wednesday.

Mendez said the most common cause of the outages have to do with tree limbs coming down on power lines.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140205/peco-montgomery-county-ice-storm-second-worst-for-power-outages-since-hurricane-sandy

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Snowstorm Leads To Closures, Traffic Accidents Throughout Berks

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

That darn groundhog.

Within 24 hours of forecasting six more weeks of winter, large dense snowflakes began falling in Berks County early Monday, and the storm continued to drop about an inch an hour before tapering off to flurries about 2:30 p.m.

Blame Phil if you were stuck in traffic behind one of the numerous crashes that occurred through the day or lost power from outages, but remember he wasn’t the only messenger.

Forecasters at AccuWeather, near State college, predicted this storm would bring wet, heavy snow that would affect the morning commute, and did it ever. By 11 a.m., with temperatures hovering around 32 degrees, at least a half a foot of snow had fallen in Berks County.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/news/article/snowstorm-leads-to-closures-traffic-accidents-throughout-berks#.UvA5BvRDsxI

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January Could End Up As One Of The Coldest Months In Recent Memory

The mercury hasn’t hit bottom yet.

January ranks as one of the most bitingly cold months Western Pennsylvanians can remember, though certainly not a record. A cold snap early in the month made the temperature plummet to 9 below zero near Pittsburgh International Airport with a wind chill that felt like 30 below.

State College-based AccuWeather predicts a low of 10 below zero on Tuesday as part of the latest bone-chilling cold spell, one that will extend through at least Jan. 31.

“We’ve been selling a lot of winter tires. People who have decided to try and wait to see how the winter goes, I think finally pulled the trigger,” said Nick Lenhart, manager of Lenhart’s Service Center in North Huntingdon. “They realized it’s not just going to be a one and done.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5469509-74/cold-january-weather#ixzz2rKwZi8jZ
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

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Bolaris: Old Man Winter To Drop Bombogenesis

BOMBOGENESIS (a rapidly intensifying storm) will take place Tuesday afternoon off the Virginia coast.

Computer models had an extreme reversal on the intensity and track of this storm over the last 24-36 hours, and that’s why snow amounts were jacked up Monday as computer models came late to the snow party.

Hinting started to take place late Sunday as my forecast called for a significant storm for some with 4+ inches of snow possible across parts of New Jersey. But a big uptick in moisture being fed into the storm combined with a piece of the polar vortex sending another package of severe cold. This time, it gets pulled into the storm’s circulation leading to rapid intensification and high snow ratios.

Normally we receive a 10-1 ratio, with one inch of liquid equaling 10 inches of snow, but in this case we have an overall ratio of 13-1, to as much as 15-1, meaning more snow with less liquid.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Bolaris_Old_Man_Winter_to_drop_a_bombogenesis.html#3R4LGxSgscHmB4Od.99

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Snow Causes Accidents, School Cancellations

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

(UPDATED 10:45 a.m.) An Atlantic Clipper snowstorm traveling across the East Coast Tuesday could drop up to 9 inches of snow in some areas, causing some schools to close and others to institute early dismissal.

Boyertown, Daniel Boone, Owen J. Roberts and the Spring-Ford School District all cancelled classes and all afterschool activities.

Pottstown, Phoenixville, Upper Perkiomen, and the Pottsgrove school districts were all dismissing students early as the snowstorm was expected to worsen in the afternoon.

Collegeville, East Greenville, Spring City Borough, Lower Pottsgrove, and Upper Pottsgrove townships declared snow emergencies Tuesday morning. The snow emergency in Spring City was declared for 9 a.m. and will be in place until noon Wednesday.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140121/updated-snow-causes-accidents-school-cancellations

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Digging Out As High, Frigid Winds Settle In

The snow came as forecast Thursday, walloping the area with five to seven inches through the evening and overnight, closing area schools and reducing travel to a crawl on area roads.

PennDOT worked through the night, clearing highways across Pennsylvania as the first winter storm of 2014 ushered in frigid temperatures and strong, bone-chilling winds.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140103/digging-out-as-high-frigid-winds-settle-in

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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

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 Likely To Be Among Hardest-Hit Inland Areas

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

High winds and heavy rains leading to power outages and flooding are expected to slam Berks County today as residents endure the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.

Berks will likely be among the hardest-hit inland areas, and officials urged residents to prepare for the worst.

“This storm has not been overhyped,” Berks County Commissioner Christian Y. Leinbach said today.  “It will have significant impact.”

Leinbach said residents should have up to three days of food and supplies should there be widespread power outages.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=423954

Rain Falling Harder In Lancaster County; First Power Outage Reported

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Roads are empty.

Schools are dark.

The mall is closed.

Emergency workers are at their posts.

Skies darkened and rain began falling hard as the county hunkered down, waiting for Hurricane Sandy to howl through here with its full power later today.

“Get out now,” said Mayor Rick Gray,  urging residents to evacuate in flood-prone areas of the city.  “If it doesn’t flood, thank God.  If it does flood, you’re safe.  We don’t want to be in a position to put our police officers and our firefighters in harm’s way because you didn’t evacuate.”

The first significant power outage hit late this morning, when about 600 people lost their electricity in the Elizabeth Township area, after power lines were reported down along Route 322 there.

But for most of the county, the morning was the calm before the Frankenstorm as local residents, who had days to buy flashlight batteries, stock up on water and clean out their gutters, waited for the storm.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/766797_UPDATED–Rain-falling-harder-in-county–first-power-outage-reported–.html#ixzz2AhhYq6Ia

Monster Storm Closing In On Lehigh Valley Region

Icon for a Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Cate...

Icon for a Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Category 1 hurricane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After almost a week of ominous forecasts, the weather system born of a giant hurricane, a winter storm and an arctic air mass is upon us.  And it’s not going anywhere fast.

Across the Lehigh Valley, residents and government officials worked through the weekend to protect lives and property as Hurricane Sandy morphed into a gargantuan storm that will affect every part of the Northeast.

Although Sandy, which remained a Category 1 hurricane, was not expected to make landfall on the New Jersey coast until late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, the storm’s effects have been felt since Sunday evening.  Ahead of Sandy’s landfall, every school district in the Lehigh Valley canceled Monday’s classes.  Some colleges closed through Tuesday.

The worst of the weather will persist throughout the day Monday, with sustained winds from 35 to 45 mph and gusts up to 55 mph.  That will bring down tree limbs and small trees causing power outages and property damage.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-hurricane-sandy-impact-20121028,0,6460543.story

Reading School District Budget Outlook Not Good

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Reading School District isn’t likely to get any relief from the financial straits that have led the district to cut programs, layoff staff and close schools.

Robert Peters, the district’s chief financial officer, provided the school board with an initial overview of the district’s 2013-14 budget process at a meeting Wednesday night. And the outlook doesn’t appear good.

The district, like others across the state, will yet again be facing increasing expenses with little hope of jumps in revenue.

Peters said increases in pension contributions will probably cost the district about an extra $2.5 million next year, and health care costs will likely increase somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=421733

St. Joseph’s University Buying Philadelphia Cardinal’s Mansion For $10 Million

St. Joseph’s University announced Friday that it would acquire the cardinal’s residence on City Avenue from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for $10 million.

The stone mansion, on 8.9 acres, has served as the home of the archbishops of Philadelphia since 1935, when the church bought it for Cardinal Dennis Dougherty for $115,000.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who assumed leadership of the archdiocese one year ago, put the 16-room residence on the market in January. In June, he reported that the archdiocese faced a $17.5 million operating debt.

Sources said Chaput, a Franciscan Capuchin friar, was not comfortable living in a baronial-style mansion as he was preparing his flock for school and parish closings to trim the deficit.  He has also put the retired priests’ summer home in Ventnor, N.J., up for sale, with an estimated value of $6 million.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120908_St__Joseph_s_buying_cardinal_s_mansion_for__10M.html

Reading School District Debt Called Near Its Limit

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The financial picture for the Reading School District isn’t pretty.

That news should come as no surprise as the district is fresh off a rough budget process that saw dozens of employees laid off and five schools closed.

But exactly where the district stands may not have been crystal clear.

That’s why the business office put together a special presentation this week to fill the Reading School Board in on the district’s financial trends.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=412937

Up To 364 Jobs On The Block In Reading School District

Nancy Swope knows a thing or two about education.

She’s been teaching in the Reading School District for 32 years, longer than some in the capacity crowd gathered inside the Reading School District’s board room Wednesday night have been alive, she pointed out with a smile.

Swope spoke passionately to the school board about her dedication to the district. About her passion. About giving her heart, her soul, her blood, sweat and tears to Reading schools.

It was a stark reminder of what the district will be losing.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=388948

Thomas Hylton Is Astonished By Plans To Add Classrooms To Pottstown Elementary Schools

The Grand Poobah of the Pottstown School Board, Thomas Hylton seems to suffer from convenient memory loss.  After carefully reading Evan Brandt’s account of the latest school board meeting, I found this quote by Numero Uno Responsible Citizen, Thomas Hylton rather humorous.

“Our first responsibility,” Hylton said, “is the economic viability of this community and, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is astonishing to me that we are thinking of adding extra classrooms to our elementary schools.”  

This cow patty of wisdom from the number one Rupert-lover himself.  What about the architecturally correct windows and geothermal heating and cooling that Responsible Tom proposed for Rupert?  Now suddenly we’re “astonished” that we want to add classrooms to house the Edgewood students.  Should we educate them on the lawn, Tom?

The Middle School would need to be retrofitted to segregate the elementary students from the middle school students.  That will cost money as well.  It was made abundantly clear by the parents of elementary students that they do not want their children mixed in with the middle school population.  I guess Tom forgot about the community outrage when he proposed putting 5th grade in the Middle School during his heyday as Neighborhood Schools Potentate.

I think somebody needs some Ginkgo biloba or the wifey needs to take better notes at meetings.

Evidently Stupid Is As Stupid Does In Pottstown

Despite the enormous amount of time and effort put forth by the Task Force and the cross-section of people who were involved in the process; the Pottstown Hyltonville School District Board of Education has voted to maintain five old elementary school buildings in light of the fact that:  a. Hyltonville cannot afford them and b. in the long run taxes will increase more by doing nothing.

Great job!  Not!

Many thanks to the Task Force for their hard work and many thanks to the four forward-thinking school board directors (Huss, Hartman, Pargeon, Weand) who voted NO to this giant step backward.  Watch how many homes go up for sale now!

Please keep in mind the five school board directors (Harris, Hylton, Wausnock, White, Wilson) who voted for this stick your head in the sand “plan” so when your taxes spiral even further out of control you’ll remember who to blame!  In case you forget, I’ll remind you when the times comes.

Two gigantic Roy’s Rants thumbs down and a cyber raspberry.

Two More Top Notch Pottstown School District Employees Leaving

The local print newspaper announced today that two elementary principals are leaving PSD.  The revolving door out of Pottstown continues. 

Dr. Angela Tuck (Edgewood) and Robert Giering (Barth) have taken positions at two distinguished elementary schools.  Both schools have received a 10 out of 10 rating from Great Schools.org.  Dr. Tuck is bound for Swarthmore Rutledge School in Delaware County and Robert Giering is joining the Downingtown School District at Uwchlan Hills Elementary School.  Both Tuck and Giering will be principals at their new schools.

Dr. Tuck has been with PSD for 10 years.  Giering has been with PSD for 6 ½ years.

The school district and Task Force are in turmoil; no thanks to Mr. Hylton’s constant meddling.  People are not going to stick around PSD to end up out of a job.  Especially high-caliber employees like Terri Lampe, Angela Tuck and Robert Giering.  These people have marketable skills as shown by their rapid departures.

These headlines will be repeated over and over.  The longer this climate of uncertainty continues the more people will leave.  If Team Hylton wins in November, the end draws nigh.