The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

November 28, 2013

Power outages follow heavy snowfall

MERCER COUNTY AREA — The winter storm that struck much of the eastern U.S. Tuesday and Wednesday took its toll on local power lines and roads, with the weather being a factor in one traffic fatality.

The power outages occurred literally in slow motion as the wet heavy snow on tree limbs and lines, coupled with just enough wind, gradually caused them to reach the breaking point throughout the day on Wednesday.    

At about 9 a.m. Penn Power reported it had 764 customers in Mercer County without power, but by 2 p.m. that figure soared to 2,700, said Chuck Jackson, the utility’s area manager.

“The trees are so heavy with snow that it steadily knocked down trees and limbs on the lines,’’ Jackson said. “When the wind started blowing, even though it was just a little bit, it caused anything that was weak to start falling.’’

Outages were widely reported throughout the county. Penn Power had 372 customers in Shenango Township without power, 278 in Hermitage, 297 in Mercer, 288 in Liberty Township and 304 in Sugar Grove Township.

Extra crews, 42 people in all, were called in from FirstEnergy Corp. companies in Ohio to help restore power, Jackson said. FirstEnergy owns Penn Power.

At the start of the day, Jackson said he thought nearly all of the customers without power would have their electricity restored by midnight Wednesday. But as the day progressed and the situation deteriorated, he wasn’t so sure that forecast would hold.

“This may go into Thursday morning,’’ Jackson said.

He warned people to stay away from downed power lines and to call the utility. Specially trained Penn Power employees were deployed to sites where downed lines were reported.

“They are trained to stand by and protect the wire to make sure nobody goes into it,’’ Jackson said.

Even if people come across a downed phone or cable TV line, they shouldn’t touch it; an unseen power line down the road could have fallen and electrified the other lines, he added.

By contrast Lawrence County fared fairly well, with about 300 customers without power early Wednesday afternoon. However, the greater State College, region got socked hard with snow and freezing rain, resulting in a huge number of homes without power.

Once utility crews finish in Mercer County they will be sent east to help restore power there, Jackson said.

Motorists driving throughout the area Tuesday night reported cars in ditches as the heavy snow caused slick conditions. The weather was blamed for a fatal crash Tuesday afternoon in Sandy Lake Township.

Snowfall in Brookfield was so heavy, the township declared a snow emergency with a parking ban in effect through 8 this morning.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.


    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.
     

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014

  • One suspect in home shooting is jailed

    The first of three suspects police say were involved in an attempted robbery that ended in a shooting is in jail.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dancing kids K.I.D.S. day

    Hoping to reach children at just the right age, when they are old enough to understand but not past the point where it may be too late, Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission counselors held an “alternative activities” day at the courthouse Thursday, complete with music and dancing, hot dogs and treats, games and T-shirts.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo