Utilities still working to restore power outages in Cumberland County
Sentinel, The (Carlisle, PA), 2014-02-07
Feb. 07--As utility crews work overtime to restore power to the Midstate, Met-Ed says power may not be completely restored for all of its customers until midnight Saturday.
Mark Durbin, spokesman for Met-Ed, said the company has made progress in restoring power since Wednesday when it faced 119,000 outages. By Thursday afternoon, about 72,000 customers had their power restored.
There are still pockets of the Midstate without power, including areas of Cumberland County.
By Thursday morning, there were more than 1,000 customers without power in Monroe Township, 445 in Cooke Township, more than 350 in South Middleton Township, more than 250 in Dickinson Township and spots of outages in Upper Allen Township. By Thursday evening, Monroe's outages were substantially reduced to a little more than 50 outages, and outages dropped by about 100 customers in Dickinson and South Middleton. Met-Ed was able to restore power completely to Upper Allen, though it had made no movement on the outages in Cooke Township.
With thousands more without power in York County, which is also serviced by Met-Ed, Durbin said there were a lot of challenges in getting power restored to the region.
"When you have a 1/2 inch of ice that coats the trees and equipment, that brings the wires down, and that's a challenge for a utility company," he said, noting they had to work with tree service crews to get rid of the tree limbs and branches while crews worked on the wires.
Durbin added that because of the amount of outages, Met-Ed did call in utility crews from outside of the area and outside of the company to help.
PPL was able to restore power to its Cumberland County residents by early Thursday morning, but by Thursday evening it was still trying to restore power to its hardest hit service area, Lancaster County, which had more than 8,000 customers without power.
While utility crews aimed to restore power, other groups were looking to help those who were left without heat Wednesday and Thursday.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency Thursday announced federal emergency aid will be made available to Pennsylvania to supplement the commonwealth and local response effort. The help is aimed at the hardest hit counties -- York, Lancaster, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia.
The Harrisburg Area YMCA offered free showers to residents at three of its area branches, which included the Camp Hill location on Fallowfield Road.
Area Verizon Wireless stores set up charging stations, offering residents without power the ability to charge their mobile devices at no cost during regular business hours. Those locations included the store at Carlisle Crossing in South Middleton Township, off Jonestown Road in Harrisburg and in Chambersburg.
Met-Ed itself arranged to make water and ice available at area Giant Food Stores. Residents affected by the power outage were able to receive three gallons of water and one bag of ice per household per day at no charge from Giant, which included multiple locations in the Mechanicsburg area, the super store in Camp Hill, and the stores in Carlisle and New Cumberland.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission also helped allocate equipment and manpower to relief response, sending 27 of its Food & Cover Corps employees to Chester County to help remove fallen trees. The commission said it will continue to provide the support as long as necessary.
Posted earlier on Cumberlink:
Met-Ed, which is also handling thousands of power outages in York County, is still working on restoring power to areas of Cumberland County. Among the outages are 360 in South Middleton Township, 1,051 in Monroe Township, 445 in Cooke Township, 263 in Dickinson Township and 12 in Upper Allen Township, as of 10 a.m.
PPL has restored most of the power to areas of Cumberland County and is still working on more than 16,000 power outages in Lancaster County.
The Cumberland County Department of Public Safety announced earlier that there were plans to help South Middleton residents, but South Middleton Township officials said their facility is not equipped to handle residents who need showers and potable water while the power is out.
The department said plans are still in the works to help residents while their power is out.
The Harrisburg Area YMCA said it is offering free showers during weather-related disruptions. Showers are available at the West Shore Branch YMCA at 410 Fallowfield Road, Camp Hill. That branch can be reached at 737-9622.
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