Easton Residents Frustrated 5 Days After Storm
Two thousand customers were still without power Wednesday due to freak October snowstorm.
Five days after a freak October snowstorm hit the east coast, more than 2,000 Easton area Met-Ed customers still had no electricty.
First Energy, parent company to local electric provider Met-Ed, says it's the biggest disaster in the utility's history.
Some residents say they're as angry with Met-Ed as they are their lack of power.
Kathy Florindi, who lives on the 600 block of Ferry Street, has been without power since Saturday at 3 p.m. It's the longest time she's gone without electricity.
"When Ivan came through, we lost power for three days," she said, referring to the 2004 hurricane.
Florindi is one of the -- as of 5 p.m. Wednesday -- 2,029 Easton Met-Ed customers without electricity. To say that she's frustrated with the situation would be an understatement.
The city had warming stations during the day, but she wants somewhere to go at night, when temperatures drop.
The free water and ice provided by Met-Ed are gone. She's thrown away all her food, feels gouged by local hotels, and lost in a sea of automated phone calls from the power company, asking if her electricty was back on.
"I don't know why they keep calling," Florindi said.
"We are literally in the dark from both a power and information perspective," wrote College Hill's Joel Scheer, an Easton attorney, in an e-mail to Easton Patch.
Like Florindi, his power went out Saturday at 3 p.m. He said the "lack of visible presence" by Met-Ed makes him dubious about the company's pledge to have power restored to most of its customers by Thursday.
(In a message on its website, First Energy says it hopes to have power restored to 95 percent of its cusomers by Friday at 11:59 p.m.)
Other residents said they had power during and immediately after the storm, but lost it Tuesday. Still others reported "brownouts," where they'd have power in part of their home but not all of it.
Easton Fire Chief John Bast said the intersection of Walnut and Washington streets was one of those areas. He cautioned residents who are still dealing with outages to be careful, and avoid using such things as cooking appliances as a heat source.
Scott Surgeoner, a spokesman for First Energy, said it's not uncommon for power outages to occur after a blackout. For safety reasons, workers will often have to cut power to a large group of people while restoring it to a smaller group.
He called Saturday's snow the "most significant storm in our company's history," with nearly half of First Energy's 560,000 customers losing power.
Now, he said, the comapny is down to its last 25,000 to 30,000 customers without electricity.
Surgeoner said it typically takes longer to restore power to customers in smaller pockets of outages. He urged anyone who lost power and hasn't yet reported it to do so. "We want to hear from every customer who has an outage," Surgeoner said. The number to call is 1-888-544-4877.