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Tree Branch Causes 86 Hours Without Power

An Upper Milford man was ready to fix the problem himself.

For three and a half days Terry and Betsey Schmeltzle were “inconvenienced” by . They and the other five homes on Fox Lane in Upper Milford Township survived without power for 86 hours.

It began Saturday at midnight—when the power went out. Schmeltzle was prepared with a generator. He had seven extension cords strewn throughout the house to keep their refrigerator, freezer and other items working.

Sometime Sunday evening, said Schmeltzle, the power came back on for five to ten minutes and went out again—this time until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

“It was not only an inconvenience, but it was very stressful,” he said. 

Monday morning Schmeltzle said he checked the area, looking for a downed tree or something to indicate the problem, especially upon learning it was only the six homes on his street still without power in that portion of the township. 

“I saw a branch, only about the thickness of a broom handle, hanging on a wire,” he said. “It probably blew a fuse in the line.”

Schmeltzle is very annoyed with PPL, saying they seemed to be very disorganized.

“I tried to call and tell [PPL] that it was probably a fuse, but they weren’t accepting any calls. That is just not right—to refuse people’s calls like that,” he said. “And, besides, there should be a human being at the phones to talk to in cases like this, not a computer.  I was about ready to fix it myself.”

By Wednesday morning Schmeltzle said he’d had enough and went to the township building to talk to the road crew, hoping they could direct him to a PPL crew working in the area. He was sent to Ridge Road, where residents were also still without electric, and spoke with them about his situation. 

According to Schmeltzle, the PPL crew went to the area on Fox Lane and, upon surveying the damage, also found a tree leaning against the line.

“The tree was not there on Monday,” he said. “It must have fallen since then. PPL called Asplundh to cut up the tree and had the line fixed within a half hour.”

The first things Schmeltzle did when the power came on? He checked on his fish, put a piece of pizza in the microwave for lunch, and took a shower.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, Manager Dan DeLong made this statement:  “According to PPL, at this time there are 14 customers in Upper Milford Township remaining without power. They anticipate that all power will be restored by Friday evening.”

Sheriffchris September 01, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Perhaps it is time for all area residents to re-think their emergency plans. We live (by Choice) in a heavily wooded area with many trees and small streams that flood. What if we had a ICE storm, we could be without power for weeks not days...think about what YOU might do in advance, this would eliminate some of the chaos.
Pamela September 01, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Everyone did as much as they could to prepare for the "storm". we can never prepare to cut down trees before the storm or insulate wires to keep from freezing. I would hate to see what would happen if a "real' hurricane ever hit our are.. PPL was and always has been terrible and rude... Its a shame these poor people were out of power for sooo long.. glad everyone is ok!
careless fills October 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM
somebody has to be last

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