Location of Orleans Parish in Louisiana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Isaac sidestepped New Orleans on Wednesday, sending the worst of its howling wind and heavy rain into a cluster of rural fishing villages that had few defenses against the slow-moving storm that could bring days of unending rain.
Isaac arrived exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina and passed slightly to the west of New Orleans, where the city’s fortified levee system easily handled the assault.
The city’s biggest problems seemed to be downed power lines, scattered tree limbs and minor flooding. Just one person was reported killed, compared with 1,800 deaths from Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi. And police reported few problems with looting. Mayor Mitch Landrieu ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew just to be sure.
But in Plaquemines Parish, a sparsely populated area south of the city that is outside the federal levee system, dozens of people were stranded in flooded coastal areas. The storm pushed water over an 18-mile levee and put so much pressure on it that authorities were considering intentionally puncturing the floodwall to relieve the strain.
English: Hurricane Irene over North Carolina, United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Met-Ed and PPLelectric utilities have to improve their tree-trimming and line maintenance so that preventable outages like those that occurred during the major storms of 2011 can be reduced or eliminated.
The utilities also must be more responsive to customers during major storms, according to three reports critical of the utilities, issued this week by the state Public Utility Commission.
The reports were ordered in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene last August, flooding rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee in early September, and the freak late October snowstorm.
“Tree trimming should be a primary concern for both the (electric utilities) and commission for its effect on reliability as well as its role in long-duration outages,” the report said.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Potter County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
PHILADELPHIA, PA (AP) — Authorities say a woman has been killed by a tree felled by powerful storms that left tens of thousands of customers without power, mostly in western and central Pennsylvania.
The Potter County coroner says 66-year-old Linda Button was killed Thursday evening in Genesee Township. That’s about 150 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, near the New York border. State police in Coudersport expect to release more details later Friday.
First Energy Corp. reported about 70,000 customers without power on Friday morning, with the worst problems in Butler County, north of Pittsburgh, and Cambria County, east of the city. Thousands more outages were reported by PPL Corp. in central Pennsylvania.
In New York City, the storm is blamed for killing a 61-year-old man who was struck by collapsing scaffolding outside a Brooklyn church. Police say lighting brought bricks down onto the scaffolding.
The investment represents nearly a 50 percent increase over what it spent last year on new transmission lines, poles and substations, the company announced Friday.
More than 400,000 PPL customers lost power in August after the remnants of Hurricane Irene swept through eastern Pennsylvania. And an October snowstorm cut power to 388,000 PPL customers, nearly half of whom were in the Lehigh Valley. Nearly 10,000 in the Lehigh Valley had no electricity for six days after the snow.
PHILADELPHIA – Mother Nature’s October surprise snowfall has cut power to about 428,000 customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania as trees weighted down by heavy flakes topple onto power lines or traffic accidents bring down utility poles.