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More Than 5,000 Without Power in Salisbury

Electricity has been restored to more than 2,800 PPL customers in Salisbury Township, but 5,000 are still in the dark after Saturday's rare October snowstorm.

Salisbury Township was among the hardest hit areas of the rare October snowstorm that walloped Lehigh County, getting as much as 14 inches of snow and knocking out power to more than 8,000 people, according to authorities.

Power had been restored to about 2,800 home as of 9:30 a.m. Monday,  according to PPL's outage map.

In scenes reminiscent of two months ago, many roads were blocked by downed trees, although this time due to the weight of snow on branches that still had leaves. Some of the same streets were closed in this storm, including Honeysuckle Road, between Stonesthrow Road in Upper Saucon Township and Emmaus Avenue in Salisbury. PennDOT also closed Seidersville Road and Susquehanna Street, between Trapps Lane and Emmaus Avenue.

Salisbury Township Public Works Director John Andreas said the damage throughout the township was severe, especially in high elevations areas on South Mountain. "The heavy, wet snow brought down numerous trees throughout the township, dislodging power. The working effects of this storm are still in progress," he said.

The township building and police department have been working off generators ever since they lost power Saturday, Andreas.

Salisbury Township School District closed today and The Swain School opened two hours late. Salisbury High School postponed its dedication ceremony on Sunday because of the hazardous conditions.

Power for some in areas hit hard by Saturday's snowstorm could be out until midweek as PPL has seen "considerable damage" to its infrastructure, according to this report. 

The Morning Call says close to 300 crews from as far away as Michigan and Kentucky are working non-stop to fix about 2,800 cases of damage to transformers, service lines and other equipment failures. Ten major lines that supply 80,000 customers need repairs.

A PPL Electric Utilities spokeswoman said the storm knocked out 570 transformers in the Lehigh Valley.

PPL spokesman Joe Nixon said the storm was among the top five in the past 20 years in terms of number of customers affected. In the company's coverage area, at least 325,000 customers in 29 counties were affected. As of 2 p.m., some 123,000 customers were still without power, including 90,000 in the Lehigh Valley, he said.

Lehigh County has set up an emergency shelter at the Troxell building, 2219 N. Cedar Crest Blvd., South Whitehall Township. Residents who need help getting transportation to the shelter may call 610-437-5252 to make arrangements.

Elizabeth Rich October 31, 2011 at 04:38 PM
That pumpkin looks cold!

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