High winds cause outages for tens of thousands in region

Tim Jimenez
February 25, 2019 - 7:18 am

Tim Jimenez | KYW Newsradio

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UPDATED: 2:30 p.m.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Dangerous winds are whipping through the Philadelphia area Monday, knocking down trees and causing power outages.

PECO reports nearly 31,000 customers are without service across the greater Philadelphia area.

Bucks County has been hit the hardest, with more than 17,000 in the dark.

RELATED: Philadelphia declares Code Blue

PSE&G has more than 300 customers still without electricity in parts of South Jersey, and Atlantic City Electric has about 600 without power.

A family in Media, Delaware County, had a close call when the high winds uprooted a tree that slammed into their house around 2:30 a.m.

"We heard the wind, and then all of a sudden we heard a couple of branches hit the back of house, and then just this horrific boom,” said Steve Olkowski, who lives in the house on the 900 block of North Orange Street with his wife. 

Olkowski has some pine trees behind his house, and when branches fall off, he says he usually hears a snapping sound first. 

RELATED: Wind to blame for partial building collapse that crushed car

"The tree looks actually looks like it just split the middle of the house," he said. "The tree was coming from my closet, about three feet off the floor of the bedroom. So, it’s sitting in there, we were able to crawl underneath the tree, get down the stairs and get the dogs out.” 

Olkowski said they were able to get out safely. Police officers and firefighters rushed over to help. 

“Yeah, we’re lucky,” Olkowski said. “Everything can be replaced. I count myself very lucky.”

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KYW Newsradio's Mark Abrams and Kim Glovas contributed to this report.