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The Progress Home >> Friday, February 1, 2013 - Power outages leave thousands in the dark

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Power outages leave thousands in the dark
Friday, February 1, 2013
By Terry Whetstone Staff Writer
The high winds yesterday played havoc throughout the county including Irvona where the power was out for about 10 hours. That resulted some homes getting very cold and the residents having no way to keep warm.
The Irvona Fire Co. opened the firehall as a shelter to help those people get warm and according to Mayor John "PJ" Patterson, three elderly people went to the hall.
"They were well taken care of," Patterson said.
He said when the power was restored the firefighters took the residents to their homes and made sure their furnaces were working ok before they left them.
"I do believe they (firefighters) saved lives, because the people had medical complications," Patterson said. "That's just one more thing that makes me proud to be from Irvona."
According to John Shimko, Penelec Area Manager, the outages regionally affected around 2,500 Penelec customers from Brookville to Tyrone, with the highest number impacted in central and southern Clearfield County.
As of 5 a.m. this morning, power had been restored to all customers. The cause of most all interruptions was downed trees contacting power lines.
Penelec company-wide power interruptions have affected more than 7,500 customers, to all of which power has been restored.
Shimko said locally, the largest outages occurred in the Morrisdale and Irvona areas.
In Irvona, a tree came down near the old TYK brickyard at 11:50 a.m. Thursday, causing cross arms to break on two poles and the primary wire to come down. Initially 1,650 customers were impacted. Radio controlled switching restored about 1,300 customers within 10 minutes. Penelec crews manually restored an additional 50 customers around 3 p.m. Crews then worked throughout the afternoon and evening with all power restored there around 9:30 p.m.
Shimko said the poles were in a remote area, making it difficult to gain access and make the necessary repairs.
One customer told The Progress the lights never flickered, they simply went out and stayed out.
In Morrisdale, 380 customers were without power for about four hours early this morning while crews made repairs to damaged lines. Power was restored at 4:48 a.m. this morning.
Also, a wind related outage overnight Wednesday impacted an additional 1,000 customers on the main line between Curwensville and Madera when a downed tree broke a pole near Turkey Hill. Crews brought in additional equipment to access the remote location and restored all affected customers just before noon Thursday.
Penelec thanks customers for their patience and understanding while they work to restore power.
Shimko said, "also please stay away from all downed wires as they may be energized and dangerous."
Outages can be reported by calling 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).
As power was restored, one resident in Irvona was shocked and required transport to Altoona Regional Health System for treatment. There was no condition report available on him.
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