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Wind, rain create power outages in Tri-State area

December 17, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

TRI-STATE - Thousands of customers in Franklin County were without power Sunday night, which could take up to three days to restore in some areas, according to a spokesperson for Allegheny Power.

"We have 106 separate cases of trouble in our system in Franklin County," David Neurohr said at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Those problems affected about 2,400 customers, Neurohr said.

Some residents in Blue Ridge Summit, South Mountain, Fayetteville, Chambersburg and Waynesboro might have to wait until Wednesday to have power restored, according to the Allegheny Power Management System Web site.

"Customers will be coming back on throughout the night, and they'll prioritize them and get to the areas that will bring back the most customers in the most areas," Neurohr said. "We're in the middle of a pretty big windstorm in your area (and) outages are continuing."

Neurohr said it might take up to three days to restore power to more rural areas in Franklin County.

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"There are a lot of instances of trouble where it's only impacting one customer," Neurohr said. "When you get back to some of those areas, initially it takes awhile to get in and clear the areas - you have to clear the branches before you can start working on the lines."

Cascade Elementary School is closed today because of icy conditions in the area, according to Meghan Waters, a public information assistant with Washington County Public Schools.

There will be no bus service for middle and high school students in the Cascade attendance area, Waters said. Buses 21C, 65C, 71C and 80C will be running today, but not in the Cascade attendance area, she said.

Also, students cramming for finals at Penn State Mont Alto will get another day to study as the campus will be closed today because of power outages caused by the storm.

Today's final exams are rescheduled for Friday, according to the campus Web site.

Franklin and Fulton counties received numerous calls Sunday about fallen power wires and trees due to the winter weather Saturday evening and high winds Sunday.

A power line fell on a vehicle at 228 S. Carlisle St. in Waynesboro, a roof blew off a house on Garfield Street in Waynesboro and Furnace Road was declared impassible at 7:40 p.m. Sunday, all according to police scanner activity.

Power outages also were reported throughout Franklin County, according to 911 dispatchers.

Fulton County 911 reported power outages throughout the county with power lines down, trees down, trees on power lines and transformer explosions.

The National Weather Service in State College, Pa., issued a wind advisory in effect from 4 p.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. today for 32 counties in central Pennsylvania, including Franklin and Fulton.

Strong winds were expected to develop Sunday as a storm system moved away from the region, according to a statement from the National Weather Service in State College.

Wind gusts were expected to range from 40 to 50 mph through this morning, according to the statement.

In West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, wind gusts were expected to reach up to 50 mph Sunday night, and dispatchers in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties said they had reports of trees and power lines down.

More than 3,500 Allegheny Energy customers in the Eastern Panhandle were without power as of 9 p.m. Sunday, according to an Allegheny Energy Web site.

In Berkeley County, 1,733 customers were without service and in Jefferson County, 653 people were without service, the Web site said.

In Morgan County, 1,432 Allegheny Energy customers did not have service, the Web site said.

The high winds followed rain Saturday night and early Sunday. More than an inch of rain fell in Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

At the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport south of Martinsburg, W.Va., 1.2 inches of rain fell, said Nicole Listemaa, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

A rainfall amount was not available for Charles Town, W.Va., but Shepherdstown, W.Va., logged 1.38 inches of rain, Listemaa said.

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