A potent winter storm that is bringing heavy snow and high winds to the area is to blame for power outages and early school dismissals in the Saucon Valley area.
Particularly hard-hit so far is Hellertown’s tree-filled Mountainview neighborhood, where PPL was reporting 226 customers without electricity as of 2:30 p.m.
An estimated timeframe for restoration of power to the neighborhood was not yet available.
A number of other smaller outage clusters have been reported throughout Lower Saucon Township.
Just over the county line in Upper Saucon Township, PPL is reporting that more than 600 customers are without power in the areas of Taylor Drive, Flint Hill Road, Wimmer Road and Weyhill Drive, east of DeSales University. No estimated repair time was available for that particular outage, either.
Saucon Valley School District dismissed students early Friday because of the deteriorating weather conditions, with high school and middle school students dismissed at 12:30 p.m. and elementary students at 1:15 p.m.
According to text alerts sent to parents, some elementary students could not be dropped off at their bus stops because of down trees and wires. Those students were taken back to the school and their parents notified.
St. Theresa School dismissed students at 1:30 p.m. and canceled a planned pizza dinner.
Roadways–including major roads such as Rt. 378 in Lower Saucon Township–were reported to be like “parking lots” because of the amount of traffic at a virtual standstill on them.
According to information shared by motorists via the Waze app, Broadway in Fountain Hill and Salisbury Township and Seidersville Road between Emaus Avenue and Fire Lane in Salisbury were also heavily congested by vehicles either stuck or barely able to move through the snow.
A Saucon Source reader also reported that vehicles diverted by navigation apps onto Stonesthrow Road in Upper Saucon Township were having difficulty making it down the rural road if they didn’t have “good tires.”
Authorities are advising residents to stay off the roads unless they must travel for work or because of an emergency.
For weather-related updates from the Borough of Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township, be sure to follow their Facebook feeds and sign up for news alerts on both municipal websites, and follow Saucon Source on Facebook.