Storm, Power Outage Cripple Emmaus

Saturday's heavy snowfall leaves Emmaus, Upper Milford in the dark

Residents of Emmaus borough and Upper Milford Township are among the more than 100,000 Lehigh Valley residents stripped of electricity as a result of Saturday's rare October snow storm.

Thousands of families endured cold, dark nights Saturday and Sunday.

A borough police officer told Patch on Sunday that he did not know of anybody in town with power.

PPL reported 6,438 out of power in the borough and 2,889 in the township as of 7 p.m. Sunday, making it one of the hardest hit areas of Lehigh County. PPL says restoring power may take several days. In some areas, major repairs to the system's transmission lines, transformers and
circuit breakers are needed.

Several traffic lights are not working. Those still functioning are operating on generators.

appeared to be one of the few businesses in town able to open Sunday - thanks to back-up power.

Emmaus Patch contributor Jenae Holtzhafer described the storm in a Facebook post: "South Mountain is creaking and cracking and crashing like crazy! Trees down all over the roads and driveways. I've been out to 'shake my trees' 3 times so they don't get so heavy they break. This is scary and sad."

At Superior Restaurant, manager Mike Raptis was cleaning up on Sunday afternoon, trying to get rid of spoiled meats. The restaurant was without power since 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

"We're just throwing stuff away at this point," he said.

One resident reported there were no kerosene heaters or generators available at local stores.

Bourough Councilman Brian Holtzhafer (husband of Patch contributor Jenae Holtzhafer) told Patch on Sunday evening that all the roads are open although South 10th Street is only a single lane.

Holtzhafer noted "the broken, snapping trees are unlike anything anyone has ever seen."

He said a neighbor who is a retired PPL employee had told him that he had not seen anything like this in the 30 years he was with the company.

The downtown's Bradford Pear trees are broken. Silver maple trees and poplars throughout the borough have also been hard hit by the heavy wet snow.

Holtzhafer estimated that two thirds of the borough remained without power Sunday, including the south side, downtown area and western business district. He said road crews have cleared streets of fallen tree branches, but he did not yet know whether the borough would have a special pickup to help residents dispose of debris.

Some residents complained Sunday evening that there was no word about school cancelations Monday. and were reported to be out of power. Many attempts to access the website of the East Penn School District were unsuccessful on Sunday.

Patch spoke to an Upper Milford resident struggling to cope with no power, no heat, no water and a basement flooded because her home's sump pump failed without electricity. She took her two children to Wendy's in Trexlertown on Sunday evening to warm up and eat some hot food.

She fears power might not be restored until Tuesday.




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