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Violent Storms Rip through the Area
Written by Town and Country Staff Report
2019-05-30

Updated 4:10 p.m. 5/30/19

 

            A straight line wind accompanying heavy thunderstorms late Wednesday afternoon wreaked havoc on residents of multiple Montgomery County municipalities.

High winds toppled a tree unto a house on Olde Skippack

Pike, near Oak St.

Citizens in Upper Salford appear to have absorbed the brunt of the damage.

            The storm knocked out electrical power for a majority of the residents of Upper Salford, according to Kevin O'Donnell, chairman of the township's board of supervisors and its emergency management coordinator. He said during a news conference early Thursday afternoon that downed power lines caused by the excessive winds and falling trees stranded several Upper Salford residents in their homes.

            According to Alan Reppert, a senior meteorologist with Accu Weather, the storm – which started over Kutztown and Topton and pushed southeast – had winds that hit at least 50 mph. He said a straight line wind, which often accompanies severe thunderstorms, can often reach 100 mph.

            According to Alfia Ohene-Frempong, a spokesperson for PECO, 1,080 customers on the township lost power. She said 1,400 Upper Frederick customers, which accounts for 95 percent of its business, absorbed similar damage. In Lower Frederick, 400 out of 2,000 customers lost their power. The storm also knocked out 200 percent of the power in Marlborough Township (1,636) and Green Lane (246). On Thursday afternoon, Ohene-Frempong estimated the restoration of all power by 8 p.m. Friday.

            "That time is contingent with what happens with the weather," said the spokesperson, who added that the company has dispersed more than 500 workers in Bucks and Montgomery counties, which were the hardest hit by the storm.

            In Marlborough, the power went out at the township building between 5 and 6 p.m., according to Marybeth Cody, the municipality's manager, secretary, treasurer and Right to Know officer. She said the structure has utilized an emergency generator since the outage.  Cody said Thursday that she was not aware of any injuries or fatalities caused by the storm.

            Green Lane absorbed the normal storm damage, which includes some down trees and minor house damage, according to Lynn Wolfe.  "Green Lane is fine," she said Thursday afternoon.

 

Posted earlier today (additional story and more photos)

Heavy winds and rain cause major damage

Nearly 5,000 PECO Customers still without power - More storms forecasted for this afternoon

 

Polse and wire lay across the road near the intersection of

Burton Road and Old Skippack Road in Upper Salford 

Township.

            The heavy storms that passed through the region on Wednesday afternoon brought severe damage to a wide portion of the Town and Country's readership area in Berks, Bucks, Lehigh, and Montgomery Counties.  Upper Salford and Lower Frederick Townships, in Montgomery County, and the immediate surrounding areas seemed to have shouldered the brunt of it. 

            As the storm rumbled through bringing heavy rains and high winds, local emergency crews went into action.

            Storm related events began at 4:49 with the report of a telephone pole that fell onto a vehicle on Sumneytown Pike near Zepp Road.  Nobody was injured but the incident closed busy Route 63 during the height of rush hour. 

            As Route 63 was being closed , in New Hanover Township Route 73 (Big Road) was being closed near the Boyertown East Middle School due to a storm related

High winds brought down this thre and tipped over a 

camper on Perkiomenville Road in Upper Salford Town-

ship.

event.

            Many residents in Green Lane borough, Marlborough and Upper Salford Township lost electrical power about that time.  Power was still out on Thursday morning causing the closure of Marlborough Elementary School and all other schools in the Upper Perkiomen School District to open two hours late.

            Shortly after 5 p.m. emergency crews were dispatched to Pine Ridge Road in Upper Frederick Township for a report of multiple trees, poles, and wires down.

            The emergency calls and road closures began adding up in Upper Salford and Lower Frederick and multiple fire companies and fire police units were called in to help out.

            According to a press release issued by the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety, "The most significant damage occurred in areas of Upper Salford Township and Lower Frederick Township, where there were reports of damage to residential structures. Montgomery County activated its Emergency Operations Center at approximately 6:15 p.m. to provide equipment, personnel, and resource support at the scene, including: Montgomery County Mobile Field Command and Communications Unit; Montgomery County Urban Search and Rescue Team; and Montgomery County Emergency Management equipment such as light towers, generators, and a satellite phone truck."

            Local and county emergency units operated throughout the night and remained on the scene Thursday.

            Early Thursday morning, in the area of Hendricks Road, emergency personnel were checking on the well-being of residents.  At least one person was found who needed emergency care due to the power outage.

            Emergency personnel were still checking residents and performing searches at 11 a.m. Thursday.

            A unified command center was set up at the Upper Salford firehouse and multiple emergency response units from several counties were dispatched to assist throughout the Thursday morning hours.

            At 7 a.m. Thursday morning, Montgomery County Communications issued a "limited mutual aid alert" for Upper Salford requesting six fire additional fire police officers from each of several different regions of the county.

            Route 63 between Rout 29 (Main Street) and Route 563 (Ridge Road) was re-opened at 7:05 Thursday morning but many secondary roads remained closed.

            Town and Country staff will be providing an update early this afternoon.


 

 

 

 

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