Howling Winds Rattle Hellertown, 1100 Lose Power in Lower Saucon

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Power Outage Hellertown

Tree branches littered the Saucon Rail Trail in Hellertown Friday afternoon. Branches large and small were brought down by high winds, which also led to power outages throughout the area. Gusts of up to 60 mph were possible through Friday night.

Strong winds accompanying a powerful cold front moved through the Hellertown area Friday, causing sporadic power outages, bringing down branches and rattling windows.

As of 6:30 p.m., PPL was reporting that approximately 17,000 electricity customers were without power throughout its service area. One of the largest weather-related outages was concentrated in the area of Rt. 378 and Black River Road in Lower Saucon Township, where 1,170 customers were in the dark, according to the utility’s outage center map.

April 30 Power Outage

Credit: PPL

One of the largest power outages PPL crews were addressing Friday was concentrated along the Rt. 378 corridor in Lower and Upper Saucon townships. Most of the more than 1,100 customers without power are in Lower Saucon Township.

Power to those customers should be restored by 3 p.m. Saturday, according to the PPL map.

Smaller-scale outages were being reported throughout the Saucon Valley and Southern Lehigh areas as well as elsewhere in the Lehigh Valley.

PPL customers who lose power should report their outage online at PPLelectric.com or by texting “Outage” to TXTPPL (898775). Customers can stay up to date on their outage by signing up for alerts at PPLelectric.com/alerts and updates at PPLelectric.com/outage.

The company tweeted that it was working to safely restore power to affected customers as quickly as possible.

In a news release about the outages, PPL said it is bringing in utility workers from Kentucky, New York and Ohio to assist with power restoration work that may be taking place “into the weekend.”

It also offered a number of safety and other tips for customers, including the following:

  • When encountering a downed wire, assume it is energized and stay away.
  • Keep phones and other electronic devices charged.
  • Have an emergency kit on hand with stores of food, water, medication and pet supplies in it.
  • Since candles can start fires, use flashlights in the event of a blackout.
  • Never operate a portable generator in an enclosed area. Carbon monoxide fumes could accumulate.

In Hellertown there were no reports of significant power outages as of early Friday evening, however the wind made spending time outside a challenge, for people and pets.

At Hellertown’s Grist Mill Park, the winds were strong enough to create a choppy surface on the mill pond, which appeared to ruffle the feathers of a few of its resident geese.

Storm clouds move menacingly toward Hellertown, high above Grist Mill Park. Though the clouds carried little rain, they did produce powerful winds. The National Weather Service is advising area residents to stay away from trees if they are outside.

Wind gusts of at least 40 mph were recorded by the National Weather Service at Lehigh Valley International Airport near Allentown Friday, and a high wind warning remains in effect for the Lehigh Valley through 4 a.m. Saturday.

Until that time gusts of up to 60 mph are possible, with sustained winds of up to 35 mph.

“Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines,” the warning statement indicated. “Scattered to numerous power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.”

It added that “people should avoid being outside around trees” and use caution while driving.

Wind gusts of up to 30 mph could continue through Saturday, according to the latest National Weather Service forecast for Hellertown.

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