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.

Text Only
Local News
  • stewart,joshua Basilone killer Stewart’s appeals denied

    State Superior Court on Friday denied two appeals filed by convicted murderer Joshua L. Stewart.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140713-Mercerbicentennial3 An historic day

    It was hard to miss Ian Ollila at the Mercer Bicentennial Celebration Saturday afternoon.

    July 13, 2014 3 Photos

  • Board broadens uses for assistance fund

    Grove City school directors on Monday approved a request made by two nonprofits that will further help local families.

    July 12, 2014

  • Board will discuss flex hours

    Grove City school directors on Monday touched on administrative employees’ flexible work schedules.

    July 12, 2014

  • dean,stevie Songer won’t lower man’s bond

    One of the men accused in connection with a gun robbery case had no luck Friday getting his bond reduced. Stevie Dean waived charges against him to Mercer County Common Pleas during the brief preliminary hearing before District Judge Dennis M. Songer, Sharon.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Manslaughter case headed to court

    The case against a Sharpsville man accused of killing his friend after a day of July Fourth drinking will be decided in Mercer County Common Pleas Court. Fred E. Abbott waived his charges Friday during a preliminary hearing before District Justice Dennis M. Songer, Sharon.

    July 12, 2014

  • osprey nest Man, nature collide

    Pennsylvania Game Commission has filed a criminal complaint against Pennsylvania Power Co. alleging the electric utility broke the eggs of an osprey, a threatened species.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tips lead police to whereabouts of 2 suspects

    Two men wanted on warrants were taken to jail Monday after police received a tip about where they could be found.

    July 11, 2014

  • Crowd cries foul over banking practices

    It was standing room only at the normally quiet Mercer County commissioners meeting, as several residents demanded help from their elected officials to stop what they claim are unfair banking practices related to home foreclosures.

    July 11, 2014

  • Victim says he kept silent to seek revenge

    Leonard Figgins wanted revenge.
    That’s why he did not tell police for several months who shot him Oct. 10 in Farrell, he said.

    July 11, 2014

  • best city - philadelphia candies City’s the best

    Nicole Stephens was surprised that a credit card comparison website would name Hermitage the best Pennsylvania city to live in, but she didn’t mean that in a negative way.

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • News briefs from July 10, 2014

    Coroner rules homicide in death of Sharpsville man

    Man sent to prison for assaulting teenage girl

    July 10, 2014

  • Council makes no moves on police situation

    Wheatland council members didn’t have any new details to discuss at Wednesday’s meeting about the future of Southwest Regional Police Department.

    July 10, 2014

  • Dentist sues ex-employee, her husband

    When Teresa Young pleaded guilty to stealing money from her former employer, she agreed to repay $10,334.

    July 10, 2014

  • Ex-local woman drowns saving boys

    A former Mercer County woman drowned Wednesday afternoon while trying to save her young son and his friend in Lake Erie at a western New York beach.

    July 10, 2014