US Steel Curtails Operations

U.S. Steel

U.S. Steel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Production halts at U.S. Steel’s two largest mills could dent what is usually a good quarter for the Pittsburgh steelmaker and lead to higher steel prices.

On Wednesday, U.S. Steel informed customers of its Gary, Ind., mill that it was curtailing blast furnace and steelmaking operations at that plant because icy conditions on the Great Lakes are delaying shipments of iron ore from its Minnesota mines. The letter gave no word on how long those delays could last but was hopeful that shipments will improve with warming temperatures.

“It is possible that our ability to timely fill your orders will be temporarily impacted,” the company wrote, adding that it is trying to mitigate any impact of customers.

The announcement follows an incident last week at U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes mill near Detroit that forced the company to halt steel production there. Media reports indicate a large pipe damaged the roof covering one of its steelmaking furnaces.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/US_Steel_curtails_operations.html#jp3C8BItOJ3CLCFG.99

Additional story: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20140405_ap_a889ebee36a145ab8b177a5801db63ef.html

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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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Winter Storm Causes At Least One Death; Drops 10 Inches In S. Jersey

The region’s first serious winter storm – one that took forecasters by surprise with its intensity – has caused at least one death in the region.

A motorist was struck and killed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike shortly after noon when he got out of his car after a minor crash, a spokesman for the turnpike commission said. Detours between the Downingtown and Morgantown exits of the turnpike are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia International Airport is experiencing substantial delays as the day’s heavy snow – up to 10 inches in some parts of South Jersey – is expected to transition to sleet and then plain rain by morning.

A winter storm warning will be in effect until midnight, the National Weather Service said Sunday afternoon.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20131209_Snow_has_begun__icy_mix_to_follow.html#BkXWkQX6eWGAtwOE.99

Storm Expected To Dump 2 To 4 ‘Slushy’ Inches On Berks

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Spring may be just around the corner, but winter weather is still here.

A heavy, wet snow that will start early this morning and end about midnight is expected to drop 2 to 4 inches on Berks County, according to forecasters with AccuWeather near State College.

“The snow will be heavy and mixed with rain,” said Mike Pigott, an AccuWeather senior meteorologist.  “It’s going to be that backbreaking kind of slushy snow that’s hard to clean up.”

The temperature is expected to drop to 32 degrees tonight, so icy patches on roads are likely into Thursday morning, Pigott said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=456999

AccuWeather Says Cold Temps To Last Until Christmas!

A snowy Day in Minnesota at Christmas Time...

Image via Wikipedia

AccuWeather is predicting this cold weather will last until at least Christmas.  We have two opportunities for snow this week.  There is a possibility we could have some snow tonight and again on Friday.  Friday seems to be the most likely of the two days for snow, depending on the temperature.  We will be experiencing highs in the 30’s and lows flirting with the teens!  Hopefully the prediction for a January thaw is correct!