Residents dig out, Red Cross opens shelter in hard-hit Bucks County

LEVITTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- Residents in hard-hit neighborhoods in Bucks County spent time Thursday morning digging out - and, in many cases, waiting for power to return.

The heavy snow that brought down many trees and branches brought a tree onto one man's house Wednesday night.

After doing some prep work Thursday morning he used his own truck to pull the tree off his home.

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Digging out in Bucks Co.: John Rawlins reports during Action News at Noon on March 8, 2018.

At the Middletown Township Municipal Building, which was also in cleanup mode, the Red Cross opened a shelter where folks can come in from the cold.

"This is the shelter for Lower Bucks County," said Jim McGuire, the township's emergency management coordinator. "We're encouraging anyone without heat to come here. Don't stay in your homes and wait too long to try to get warmed up."

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Digging out in hard-hit Northampton Twp.: Walter Perez reports during Action News at Noon on March 8, 2018.

"The shelter provides warm meals, a safe place to sleep and emotional support for those with immediate, disaster-caused needs," the Red Cross said in a statement.

Wednesday's nor'easter, the second in less than a week to hit the Lehigh and Delaware Valleys, added insult to injury for tens of thousands of residents, many of whom were still without power since the first nor'easter hit on Friday.

More than 20 percent of PECO customers in Bucks County remained without power early Thursday morning, though the numbers continued to drop as the day progressed.

In Lower Makefield Township alone, a whopping 64 percent were still in the dark before dawn.

Richboro, Bucks County recorded the second-highest snowfall total in our area following Wednesday's storm.

Sixteen inches of snow fell there. Only Princeton, New Jersey saw more.

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Red Cross opens shelter in Bucks Co.: Walter Perez reports during Action News Mornings on March 8, 2018.

Officials cancelled all classes in the Council Rock School District as a result.

Bill Hoff of Northampton Township told Action News he found few things were more stressful than just trying to get out of his house to get to work Thursday morning.

"This stuff hardened up pretty good overnight," he said, referring to what came down as wet, heavy snow Wednesday. "We were hoping the truck would get here before we went to bed so we could dig it out before it froze, but it didn't."

A few blocks away, Bill Smith was finishing up the rounds across his neighborhood, helping people who were struggling to get piles of snow out of the way.

"We were working into the night last night," said Smith. "Went down... the neighbors that have snow blowers went down and helped them out to make sure they were open and make sure everybody was good."

They didn't get quite as much snow in neighboring Warminster, but the problems are much the same. That goes double for Gary O'Neill.

A toppled tree buckled the overhead powerline connected to his house. Then, early this morning, a garbage truck drove into the lowered cable and tore it down.

"It is really frustrating, especially when it sounds like someone hit the house," he said.

O'Neill was just one of many who lost power.

Northampton Township Police Chief Michael Clark said his heart goes out to those still without power from last week's storm.

"We had some people that had their power restored yesterday morning and they lost it again yesterday afternoon, which makes it very difficult," he said.

There are still a couple of roads closed in Northampton Township due to downed trees and power lines.

A warming station has been set up inside the local library so people without power can charge their electronic devices and hopefully rest and recover.

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Red Cross opens shelter: Walter Perez reports during Action News Mornings on March 8, 2018.

The Red Cross shelter for Lower Bucks County residents is located at the Middletown Municipal Building, 3 Municipal Way, in Langhorne.

The agency issued the following guidelines for those wishing to use the shelter:

Anyone coming to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

*Prescriptions and emergency medications
*Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements

*Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
*Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
*Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
*Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
*Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself
*Food, crate, and other supplies to care for your pet

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Many left without power in Lower Bucks following storm: John Rawlins reports on Action News at 4 p.m., March 8, 2018

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