Severe storms traveling across US make presence felt locally

Justin Udo
January 12, 2020 - 1:47 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The winds and rain from the severe storms traveling across the country are being felt right here in the Delaware Valley, and local utility companies are picking up the pieces from they damage they caused.

The storm blew through Bucks and Chester counties before hitting Philadelphia and Delaware County. The whipping winds that caused an advisory throughout the region also blew out power for thousands of PECO customers.

"Outages were caused primarily by wind blowing down tree branches, and tree branches hitting power lines," explained PECO's Doug Oliver. Oliver said they had crews ready to deal with the wind damage, so they could avoid any extensive blackouts.

"The dominoes fall down, we stand them back up as quickly as possible to minimize the number of outages that are there," he said. It could have been worse, but Oliver maintained their preventative helped customers keep the lights on when conditions are less than ideal.

"Hundreds of millions of dollars every year are spent on tree trimming, cutting back away from the power lines that are serving the most people," said Oliver. "We work with townships, we work with 911 centers, and certainly with our contractors and our crews to clear them when they do fall down."

Customers also need to do their part to stay safe. Oliver added if you see downed wires or poles, stay away from them and call PECO so they can clean it up. "You have to assume it is live," he cautioned. "Even if it looks like it is not, stay away from them and get to safety."

Related: Storms sweep southern US, Midwest as death toll rises to 11

The same storm system that blew through our area hit the Midwest even harder. Oliver revealed PECO crews are lending their services to some of those areas. 

"We sent about thirty of our crew members out to Chicago to help with mutual assistance," he said. "Those guys are out there working hard."