After a brutal ice storm hit Bucks County in the overnight through morning hours, thousands were left without power and downed trees and poles covered streets from the upper portion to the lower portion of the county.
As of this posting, nearly 135,000 customers were still without power, and PECO warns that these outages may become a “multi-day event.” While PECO is working hard to restore service as quickly as possible, it may be five days or longer before power is fully restored.
Scott Forster, Director of Emergency Management, cautions residents to avoid downed wires. “As you continue the clean up, please stay away from any wire that may be in yards or streets. Even if they don’t look live, they could be holding a current.”
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Maple Point Middle School, 2250 Langhorne Yardley Road, Langhorne, PA 19047, for residents in the lower end of the county. They are working on a second shelter for those residents in need in the central portion of the county. Currently, these shelters are not pet friendly; the county is working with the Red Cross and other organizations for pet friendly solutions. Warming Stations have also been set up in the Chalfont Fire Department, Northampton Library and Upper Bucks YMCA. The warming stations will not be open all night; please check availability before heading out.
“If you are without power and choose to stay home, please take precautions,” stated Commissioner Robert Loughery. “And over the next few days, those with power should remember to check on neighbors and relatives whose service has not yet been restored.”
If you are using kerosene, or any type of space heater, please make sure you follow all directions. Especially with kerosene, do not add kerosene while the heater is running or still hot-and only add kerosene, please do not add gasoline. If you buy a generator, make sure it is installed properly; seek professional help if necessary. A generator that is not installed properly could cause carbon monoxide problems as well as power surges back through the outside power lines to where workers are diligently trying to restore power.
Please call PECO at 800-841-4141 for outages updates. Please do not use 911 unless there is an emergency; call your municipality or police station lines for downed trees in roadways, or other non-emergency calls.