Trick-or-treat… or ‘Jingle Bells?’

By on November 2, 2011

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff, Staff Writer

Even this guy found it hard to escape the chill of the unseasonable weather that hit the area last Saturday. (Photo by Andy Fasnacht)Even this guy found it hard to escape the chill of the unseasonable weather that hit the area last Saturday. (Photo by Andy Fasnacht)

As residents young and old prepared to dress in their scariest, cutest or funniest costumes, the last thing they expected was a snowstorm at the end of October.

Saturday’s pre-Halloween whiteout surprised many, the heavy snow making roadways slippery and causing trees to fall, resulting in power outages to thousands of residents.

East and West Cocalico townships experienced the most outages in the immediate area. Out of 719 PPL customers who had outages in East Cocalico, 102 are still without electric. In West Cocalico, 179 out of 846 originally affected customers still remain powerless. PPL has been in a state of emergency since 10 a.m. on Oct. 29.

The leaves still remaining on many trees was the common culprit; the snow stuck to the leaves and weighed the branches down, quickly causing them to break and fall.

East Cocalico Township Manager Mark Heister praised his road crew for working diligently over the weekend doing clean up on Mohns Hill Road.

"It’s a heavily wooded area, and a lot of debris came down," he said.

Heister noted that although many residents are still were without power, in regards to snow plowing, the township was adequately prepared for the storm.

"It was heavy, wet snow," he said. "They had to be careful how they plowed it; it can knock things over."

East Cocalico Township Police Chief George Beever said that the police department was extremely busy on the day of the unexpected snowfall.

"There were 30 incidents total, including traffic hazards, limbs on the roadway and wires down," reported Beever.

He added that nine auto accidents occurred on Saturday, but they were all minor.

Denver didn’t fare quite as bad with the number of power outages. However, some clearing was required due to four trees down near or on roadways, and the south end was without power for a period of time on Saturday.

According to Borough Manager Mike Hession, the biggest problem the borough is facing now is that 16 properties on Main Street are still without power due to a fallen tree limb.

"The initial report was an impact to the service line to one property on Main Street; however, a branch continues to hang from the wire and power to the adjacent properties has been cut off," said Hession, who said PPL expects to restore power to this section by Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

In addition, Hession said that at one point, three of the four area wells were without power. One, the Roberts Well in East Cocalico Township, remains down.

"There was a stretch where the water level in the reservoir dropped by about two feet," said Hession, who noted that crews worked yesterday to fill back the reservior as power was restored to two out of three wells.

"We were out pushing snow, which we didn’t think we would have to do," said Hession. "We’re hoping that by later on this week we’ll be out collecting leaves… once they defrost."

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