Friday’s high winds took down trees and power lines across the Lehigh Valley, leaving hundreds without power Saturday morning.
The damage was scattered and widespread, according to Northampton County Emergency Management Coordinator Todd Weaver, who said there were no reports of injuries.
Wind gusts as high as 61 mph in Forks Township and 49 mph at Lehigh Valley International Airport were recorded.
The wind took down a tree on Greenhill Ave. in Palmer Township and on the 1700 block of Coronado Street in Allentown. The Allentown city fire chief didn’t immediately respond to a message.
About 3,600 PPL Electric Utilities customers across central and eastern Pennsylvania were without power as of 11 a.m. Saturday, according to the PPL website.
“Our crews, with the help from line workers from Kentucky, New York and Ohio, will continue working as safely and quickly as possible to restore power to customers who have experienced outages,” the website said.
A neighborhood in the area of Hamilton Avenue and Linden Street in Bethlehem was the hardest hit locally with 128 PPL customers affected, according to the PPL outage map online.
Met-Ed and JCP&L also reported scattered outages, according to maps on their websites.
National Weather Service meteorologist Sarah Johnson said a cold front combined with a low pressure system off the coast combined to produce the windstorm.
“It’s a little unusual to see those winds this late in the spring season,” she said. “Typically we see that in the cold season months, late fall to early spring.”
Johnson, who works out of the NWS’s Mount Holly, New Jersey office, said to expect breezy conditions Saturday with a high temperature in the low- to mid-60s.
PPL offers these tips for customers dealing with a power outage:
- If you encounter a downed wire at any time, assume it’s energized and stay away.
- Remember that candles can start fires. If you lose power, use flashlights instead.
- If you’re using a portable generator, never operate it in an enclosed area, like a garage, where deadly carbon monoxide fumes could accumulate.
Rudy Miller may be reached at [email protected].
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