Chester County residents begin to clean up after storm causes damage, power outages

Thursday, January 11, 2024
Chester County cleans up after storm causes damage, power outages
Chester County cleans up after storm causes damage, power outages

BERWYN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Residents in parts of Chester County, Pennsylvania are cleaning up and assessing the damage after Tuesday night's storm.

"I think Chester County, I would say, probably has the most customers that are currently impacted right now, so we're seeing a lot of damage in those areas," Greg Smore, of PECO, told Action News.

PECO representatives said about 221,000 customers across its service area were impacted by power outages from the storm.

PECO representatives said they expect to restore power for the majority of impacted customers within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Customers dealing with power outages are asked to regularly check their outage status here. PECO said the estimated restoration times may change as they assess damage.

The utility company currently has about a thousand additional crews coming to Pennsylvania to help restore power.

"Additional field resources that will be coming in from states as far as Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and New York," Smore said.

'It was pretty scary'

Mike Rothstein, of Phoenixville, said he was getting his daughter ready for bed when he heard what sounded like a bomb going off Tuesday night.

The sound was two trees crashing down on his house and car in Schuylkill Township.

"It was pretty scary," he said.

Now he's dealing with a leaky roof and his insurance company.

"We moved from California because we had a wildfire damage to the house, and then we moved here and now we have the trees falling on the house here," he said.

Tree falls into home in Phoenixville during storm

Monitoring storm damage

The Chester County Department of Emergency Services said it is monitoring and assisting municipal responses to storm damage.

During the storm, the county said it conducted eight water rescues, and it fielded about 17 calls for trees into houses, plus approximately 130 calls for downed power lines or wires.

Chester County Deputy Director for Emergency Management Kelly Tinsman said there were also more than 1,000 calls for service and over 500 traffic complaints throughout the duration of the storm.

County officials are asking residents without power to report outages to their utility providers.

If you see barricades on roads and/or road closure signs, do not drive around them, county officials said.

In Devon, David Lenehan said he lost power around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

"Transformer, I think, blew. It could have been a branch hit a transformer and the whole circuit got blown away," he explained.

Lenehan said his estimated restoration time, according to PECO's website, is Friday at 10 p.m.

"We don't have a generator, of course, so I'm getting slammed for not having a generator," Lenehan joked.

He said for the time being, "We'll just make do. Have a fire, sing songs, do whatever we have to do."

Lenehan's neighbor, Kevin Pechin, spoke with Action News on Wednesday morning about the storm.

"When that band came through, it intensified quick," he said.

Luckily for Pechin, he and his family didn't lose power at their home in Devon.

Pechin said he is the athletic director at nearby Conestoga High School, which was closed today because of storm damage.

"We also have a lot of games going on today that we're trying to reschedule, and we don't know if the school will be up and running, so a lot of moving pieces," he said.