Thousands Still Without Power in Easton Area
Easton shelter prepares to operate all week as residents say it could be Friday until the lights come back on.
With no light or heat, and a sister-in-law requiring oxygen, Nancy Holloway has had a pretty grim weekend since her power went out.
"It's so cold, you can hardly get to sleep at night," said Holloway, a resident of Easton's West Ward. "You can't wash, you can't cook, you can't do anything."
It was the same story up and down their block Monday afternoon, two days after a rare October snowstorm knocked out the electrical service for thousands of Northampton County residents.
As of 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, Met-Ed listed more than 5,500 county customers without power, 3,320 in Easton.
"Based on our preliminary assessment of the damage caused by the storm, we anticipate that 95% of customers without power will be restored by Friday at 11:59 PM," Met-Ed said in a statement on its website. "We expect to have remaining customers restored throughout the weekend of November 5th."
With that kind of schedule in mind, Rev. Andrew Gerns, pastor of Trinity Episicopal Church at 234 Spring Garden Street, was preparing to keep the church's shelter open all week.
On Monday afternoon, Gerns was brewing coffee and stocking the church kitchen with cans of chicken and tomato soups, jars of peanut butter and jelly.
The Salvation Army had also set up a temporary shelter at its offices at 1110 Northampton Street.
Outages were spread throughout the city, and into Easton suburbs. Patch reader/blogger Carter Lansing wrote in Monday morning to say that he'd been without power at his home in Williams Township since Saturday afternoon.
"I would blog about it...but we have no power," he said in an e-mail from work.
Lansing, a PPL customer, said his power would be out until Wednesday. He added later: "We live in a restored 1800's farmhouse so there is something ironic about me complaining about the loss of amenities that the original inhabitants would never have dreamed of. But, I'll tell you, it's a lot of work living with less. Seems the 'simple' life isn't so simple."
In Easton, some residents said it could be Thursday or Friday. It's becoming a desperate situation for people like Leah Mann Davis, who has three children and is weeks away from giving birth to twins.
"We've been doing it day by day," she said. With no electricity to keep food fresh, she and her husband had been buying meals each day to feed their family. "And that's coming out of our rent money, our bill money," Davis said.
A lot of people in that block, Holloway speculated, would be dipping into their rent money until the lights come back.
Meanwhile, it could take weeks to clean up damage from the storm, said Dave Hopkins, head of Easton's public works department.
"The debris clean-up, really, it's massive," Hopkins said. "We're throwing everything we have at it."
About 7 or 8 streets are still closed off, mostly due to downed power-lines. The hope, Hopkins said, is to get all the fallen branches cleared away before anoter stormstorm hits, one that might not start melting as quickly as this one did.