BUCKS COUNTY >> A line of powerful springtime storms blew through Bucks County Wednesday afternoon, picking up strength as it moved from north to south, impacting the lower and central areas the greatest.
In about a 90 minute period, the Bucks County 9-1-1 center received 1800 calls for service, said emergency services director Scott Forster. “On a regular day, the county receives between 1700 and 1900 calls in a 24 hour period.”
And at its height, 70,000 customers were out of power. There were still 22,000 without electricity on Thursday afternoon.
“We had hundreds of calls for trees down, powerlines down,” said Forster. “We even had a few calls for building collapses and trees into homes. Luckily we had no injuries, no deaths,” he said. “We did have a lot of call volume to respond to” and he warned, “If you see a downed wire, do not go near it. Do not assume it’s not live. Stay away from any downed wires.”
Forster said the county is working with PECO to power back up, “but I’m going to ask people to be patient. There’s a lot of infrastructure damaged and this is going to be a couple days process. We’re hoping the power comes on quickly. PECO is looking to restore it as fast as they can. But we do know there are hundreds of outage incidents - transformers, poles and wires down, blown fuses. It’s going to take a couple of days to get this resolved.”
At the height of the storms, more than a dozen nursing homes and hospitals were running on generators. “They are in much better shape today,” he said.
“I’m so glad that with the 80 mph winds that we had yesterday in the county that no one was seriously injured and no one died,” said Forster.