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Thousands without power as ice storm wreaks havoc

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Over 400,000 people in Pennsylvania are without power now, according to the Weather Channel and WITF. Nearly 3,500 people in Lancaster County are reportedly without power, according to PPL Electric Utilities. There are 34,168 outages as of 7:30 a.m. PPL has been in a storm emergency since 1:45 a.m. Residents are reporting blown transformers across the County. Utility wires are down at numerous locations. Traffic hazards are also keeping first responders busy this morning.

The City of Lancaster has extended the Snow Emergency to noon today. The ice storm has also caused schools and businesses to either open late or close altogether.

Rachel’s Café & Creperie is opening at 8 a.m. today. The YWCA of Lancaster will open at 8:30 a.m. Commonwealth on Queen will open at 9 a.m. The Pennsylvania College of Arts & Design (PCA&D) has pushed back their opening to 11:30 a.m. City Hall and city offices will open at noon. Even Park City has pushed back opening until 10 a.m.

Closed today are: Lancaster Country Day School and the School District of Lancaster. Macklin’s Café has also closed for the day. Lancaster Habitat for Humanity will open at noon.

Many buses are no longer running today, reports the Red Rose Transit. The few that are still running are experiencing delays and are forced to detour in many cases.

If you loose power:

The Lancaster Area Habitat for Humanity posted this great reminder: “If your power is out, do not call 911. Report it directly to your provider. Stay Safe. Assume that any electric wire may be live and stay away from it. www.pplelectric.com/
1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775).” Great reminder!

During an outage:

Unplug any non essential appliances. By unplugging computers and televisions, this prevents a power surge once the power is restored. Keep the freezer and refrigerator closed. This will keep the cold inside and the food good longer. On average food in the freezer is good for two to four days. Be careful using alternative heat and cooking. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur if you cook with camp stoves or grills inside. If you can access the internet on your cell phone, report your outage at https://www.pplelectric.com/my-account/outage-center/outage-map.aspx.

After an outage:

Bring your systems online one by one. Do not plug everything in at once or you risk overloading the system. Check the food in your fridge as you can. If it smells or looks bad at all, err on the side of caution and throw it away.

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