Thousands without electrical service after Tuesday’s thunderstorm

Last updated: July 09. 2014 11:58PM - 3437 Views
By - elewis@timesleader.com

Rachel Rybicki describes the damage sustained to her home on Woodcliff Drive in Dallas on Wednesday morning.
Rachel Rybicki describes the damage sustained to her home on Woodcliff Drive in Dallas on Wednesday morning.
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HARVEYS LAKE — An old Coleman stove came in handy for Marietta Goyle on Wednesday.

Goyle used the stove to heat water for coffee after electrical service to her residence and thousands of others was knocked out after a quick moving powerful thunderstorm rolled through the region early Tuesday night. Several thousand still were left without power Wednesday.

The Back Mountain and Harveys Lake areas were the hardest hit by the disruptive storm that knocked down hundreds of trees taking with it utility lines.

Goyle said she was a few minutes away from going to her basement when she noticed the storm letting up. She was worried about a few tall trees surrounding her house she said were sideways.

The only damage to Goyle’s property were branches scattered throughout her yard and a toppled swing and flower planter.

“Other properties around the lake got it worse,” Goyle said.

She’s right.

A drive around Lakeside Drive showed numerous downed trees in yards from Pole 290 to Pole 300, utility wires across the road at Pole 239, trees onto a house at Pole 275 and a sailboat pushed up onto a dock. The drive was cut short at Anderson Road where PennDOT crews put up a “Road Closed” sign due to fallen trees.

The sound of generators was prevalent along Lakeside Drive.

Power outages will not have an impact on the 68th annual Back Mountain Memorial Library Auction set to begin Thursday and ending Sunday, a library official said.

Luzerne County 911 processed 919 calls from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and 2,171 for the whole day, said 911 Executive Director Fred Rosencrans.

Typically, the 911 center receives 1,200 to 1,300 calls per day.

The American Red Cross with UGI Electric Utilities set up a cooling station in the cafeteria at West Side Career and Technology Center on Evans Street, Pringle.

Water, snacks, showering facilities and charging stations for electronics and cell phones will be provided from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday.

UGI customers without electrical service can obtain one bag of ice at the cooling station on Thursday.

Nearly 14,000 UGI customers in their service area were without power, including 2,058 in Harveys Lake.

“At this time, UGI expects 95 percent of customers affected by the outage to be restored by Saturday, July 12,” stated a news release from UGI on Wednesday.

UGI crews responded to store-related outages and has secured 40 additional linemen from Northeast Utilities in Connecticut to assist in restoration efforts.

“Due to the extreme severity of the storm, UGI expects this to be a multi-day restoration effort,” the news release says. “The widespread nature of the damage and the significant number of trees and wires down across the UGI service territory are impacting restoration time frames.”

PPL Electric Utilities reported on its website Wednesday morning that 2,136 customers in Luzerne County were without service.

Later Wednesday power had been restored to 1,214 customers. The outage centered in Exeter Township, where 840 were left without service.

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