21 Aug 2014
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Power Being Restored to Saucon Valley

PPL crews are making progress in the wake of a crippling power outage caused by a freak October snowstorm.

Power Being Restored to Saucon Valley Power Being Restored to Saucon Valley Power Being Restored to Saucon Valley Power Being Restored to Saucon Valley Power Being Restored to Saucon Valley Power Being Restored to Saucon Valley

UPDATE, 10:40am, Nov. 2: Tonight's (Wednesday 11/2) Lower Saucon Township Council meeting WILL be held at Lower Saucon Town Hall, 3700 Old Philadelphia Pike, at 7pm.

UPDATE, 10:50am, Nov. 1: The Saucon Valley School District campus now has power and the is being opened to local residents who need to shower and access to power, district superintendent Sandra Fellin just announced. "The district now has power and would like to offer what services we can to help those that are still in need," Fellin said in an email. "Please bring what ever you need to shower. The mens and ladies locker rooms will be open. (The) building will be open until 10:00pm. The door to enter the building is number 17, the door facing the baseball field, (at the) south end of the middle school building."

The that dumped more than six inches on the Saucon Valley was certainly one for the record books, and from the unseasonable weather event will undoubtedly go down in history as some of the worst the area has ever experienced.

Two days after the storm, via its Twitter page, PPL was already calling the storm one of the five worst it has responded to in the past 20 years, and the effects on the power supply in the Lehigh Valley were being called worse than two months ago. 

"Steady progress is being made in the restoration effort, and work in some regions is expected to wrap up today," PPL said in a statement posted on its website early Tuesday, three days after the storm. "Restoration will continue into the week in harder-hit areas. As we finish work in areas with fewer outages, we will be moving crews to the Lehigh Valley and Lancaster to help with recovery efforts there."

On Sunday--the day after the snowstorm--virtually all of Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township were blacked out by the wide-scale destruction of transformers, utility towers and poles. Local businesses were shuttered and major intersections were dark. Residents without heat and electricity struggled to find ways to warm themselves and remain connected to the outside world, and many left to stay with friends or in hotels.

Late on Sunday, power was restored to parts of the borough's north end, and on Monday PPL crews continued to make progress in fixing the infrastructure that was severely damaged when trees and branches weighted down by the heavy wet snow collapsed onto power lines.

By Monday afternoon, Hellertown Borough Councilman Tom Rieger reported that 22 PPL line crews were in Hellertown and 14 were in Lower Saucon as part of the effort to restore power to thousands of residents.

The power company hoped to make significant progress toward restoring electricity by Monday evening, and that appeared to happen, as posts made to  Patch's Facebook page indicated.

Residents of areas including Society Hill and Hickory Hill in Lower Saucon, and all throughout Hellertown reported that their power had returned.

Those still without power continued to monitor progress via PPL's online outage center, which as of Tuesday morning indicated that almost 9,000 Northampton County customers were still without power, including 1,854 in Lower Saucon and 147 in Hellertown.

Many of the remaining outages in the Saucon Valley appear to be smaller and more isolated, affecting 50 or fewer homes. However, several larger outages affecting up to 500 homes near Leithsville Road were still pinpointed on PPL's county map, as were larger outages in the extreme eastern and western portions of the township.

As a result of the loss of power, were closed for the second day in a row Tuesday and the in Hellertown also closed. in Hellertown also canceled its morning classes.

was without heat and Internet and had only limited electricity as of Tuesday morning. Phones were working, however, and the township announced that the council meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening at 7pm will be held in Audion if power has not been restored to the municipal complex by then.

was forced to postpone its scheduled Monday night budget meeting to Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6pm due to the power outage at Borough Hall.

The Saucon Valley Compost Center on Springtown Hill Road in the township opened Monday so residents could drop off yard waste brought down by the storm, and a number of roads in Lower Saucon Township remained closed as of Monday, as listed on the township website's important announcements section.

The compost center will be open daily this week from 7am to 3pm so residents can drop off debris.

Free bottled water and ice were being made available to residents affected by the power outages by PPL, with Weis Markets among the local vendors providing the much-needed supplies. A complete list of vendors can be found here.

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