Community Family Police Weather

UPDATED: Rainstorm with High Winds Knocks Out Power to Thousands

PPL Outage Map

A rainstorm that has been affecting the Lehigh Valley intensified as it moved closer to the area Wednesday, producing 40 to 50 mph wind gusts that brought down tree limbs and power lines.

Est. Read Time: 3 mins

UPDATE: As of 10 a.m. April 4, utility crews were still working to restore power to hundreds of customers who lost it during Wednesday’s storm, including DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township. DeSales announced that classes would be canceled Thursday due to the ongoing blackout in the Center Valley area. As of 10 a.m. Thursday, there was no longer an estimated time of repair for that area, which includes over 600 customers. Previously, PPL estimated that power would be restored by 11 p.m. Thursday. In Lower Saucon Township, approximately 275 customers in the area of Silver Creek Road were still without electricity. PPL estimated that their power would be restored by 11 p.m. April 4. Lower Saucon Township Police said the list of closed roads in the township had been lowered to two: Reading Drive between Cambridge Court and Spring Valley Road, and Silver Creek Road between Reservoir and Lower Saucon roads.

A rainstorm that has been affecting the Lehigh Valley intensified as it moved closer to the area Wednesday, producing 40 to 50 mph wind gusts that brought down tree limbs and power lines.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, thousands of PPL customers in Lehigh and Northampton counties–and 36,000 across eastern Pennsylvania–were in the dark due to damage caused by the storm.

According to the PPL Outage Center map, one of the largest clusters of outages was around DeSales University and along Taylor Drive and Flint Hill Road in eastern Upper Saucon Township, where more than 600 customers were without electricity.

Officials with the school said the DeSales campus was not expected to have power restored until 11 p.m. Wednesday, which was a factor in their decision to postpone the 33rd annual Frank L. Marcon Lecture that was scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Award-winning Philadelphia-based public radio host and journalist Terry Gross was to have been the speaker at the event, which the college said it would work with her to reschedule.

“Please be safe, and join us in praying for those impacted by this storm, especially those who are poor and those required to work outdoors during this wind and rain,” DeSales Vice President for Mission Fr. Kevin Nadolski, OSFS, said in an email announcing the lecture’s postponement.

Around both Upper and Lower Saucon townships numerous roads were closed due to downed trees and wires, with police departments in both municipalities providing regular updates via their Crimewatch sites throughout the day.

As of approximately 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Lower Saucon Township Police said Silver Creek Rd between Lower Saucon and Reservoir roads, Reading Drive between Bingen and Spring Valley roads and Spring Valley Rd between Bingen Road and Reading Drive remained closed. Police also reminded residents not to touch or try to move any downed wires they might encounter.

In Upper Saucon Township, as of 5 p.m., police said the following roads remained closed due to downed trees and/or wires: Magargee Lane at State Road, Liberty Road at Robin Lane, Walnut Lane at Station Avenue, Taylor Drive at Frankin Lane, Rt. 378 at Saucon Valley Road, an area in the 5100 block of Camp Meeting Road, Vera Cruz Road at Scott Lane and Landis Mill Road from Old Bethlehem Pike to Washington Lane.

For the most part serious flooding has not yet occurred due to the storm, but the entire Lehigh Valley remained under a flood watch issued by the National Weather Service until 6 p.m. Thursday.

“Heavy rain Tuesday and early Wednesday means the ground is already saturated so any additional rain will quickly become runoff,” the local NWS office said in a statement about the watch.

“Additional rain amounts of up to two inches are possible as additional rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected through Thursday,” it added. “Roadway flooding will be possible especially in areas of poor drainage. There is also a risk for river flooding. Some river, creek and stream levels may continue to rise through the end of the week even after the rain has ended.”

Anyone living in areas that are flood-prone should be prepared to take action should flooding develop Wednesday night, officials said.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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