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Winter storm causes widespread power outages in Pennsylvania

Ice accumulated on surfaces.
Ice accumulated on surfaces.
Jeffrey B. Roth

Starting just before 7 am, Wednesday, a power outage began in western Adams County, located in south central Pennsylvania, about four miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
An accumulation of about one-half inch of ice coats the trees and power lines. An announcement by First Energy, a Met Ed power company, noted that there are widespread power outages throughout its service area caused by fallen tree limbs. After more than one hour, roughly about 8:30 am, electrical service had not yet been restored. Met Ed reported it had numerous emergency crews out in the field working to restore power.
Schools throughout the area either closed or announced two hour delays. Court and municipal offices in York County were closed, said York County public information officer Carl Lindquist. While PennDOT reports that all of its available crews were in the field plowing snow and ice and treating roads. Secondary roads remained ice covered in the morning.
Icy conditions on Pennsylvania Turnpike near Harrisburg caused a serious accident overnight resulting in that section roadway to be closed for many hours. The 911 call center continued to dispatch brush units to reports of downed trees. An accident on Old Route 30 has kept emergency personnel busy for several hours. More ice-related accidents are being reported.
The county's two advanced life support, ALS units have remained busy, requiring emergency officials to request ALS unit from York County to remain in the Gettysburg, Adams County-area to respond to medical emergency calls. The power came back on about 9:30 am, before failing about 10 minutes later. Met Ed emergency crews are out in the field dealing with numerous incidents of tree limbs and felled trees landing on utility lines causing more power outages.
Electricity failed some time before 7 am, Wednesday. Power came back on around 9:30 am, but remained on less than 15 minutes and was not restored until 2:59 p.m., Wednesday. Lindquist reported that shelters with heat and power have been set up for residents whose homes were without heat.
Met Ed, which services a large portion of York, Adams and nearby counties, has had crews out working on the problem since before dawn. A spokesman said that the company could not estimate when power would be restored to areas impacted by winter ice storm.
York and Lancaster counties were hit the hardest. Numerous downed trees and limbs are responsible for widespread power outages. Emergency service personnel across the region responded to a slurry of
accidents on area roads.