HAVERTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The cleanup continues in Delaware County following Friday’s powerful nor’easter as another storm is on the way to batter the region.
The damage throughout the county is so significant that officials had to declare a disaster emergency over the weekend and request help from the governor’s office.
But the damage done by the storm is just half the headache as crews are still dealing with widespread power outages, and now it’s a dash to clean up before another nor’easter dumps snow on Wednesday.
“That’s the big concern. In our planning meetings today, we are talking about the next storm coming. The tough part again is as many people as we can get back to a sense of normalcy the better,” said Timothy Boyce, director of emergency services in Delaware County.
On Friday afternoon, over 70,000 households in the county were without power. About 11,197 homes and businesses remain without power in the county as of Monday night.
“There has been no one coming out here,” said Doug McLoughlin, who has been in the dark since 3 p.m. on Friday.
“Set up a shop, set up a shelter, set up a place for us to come get something warm,” said McLoughlin.
PECO’s emergency operations center is fully staffed with employees working 12 on 12 off shifts, coordinating crews in the field– all while monitoring another storm: potential one-two punch from Mother Nature.
“We have every available PECO crew, all of our local contractors and we have 1,000 personnel from other utilities as far away as Texas, Georgia, Arkansas and Louisiana to get everyone on especially in front of another potential storm,” said PECO Spokeswoman Liz Williamson.
Twenty-two lumberjacks with the state forestry have been brought in to help, however there are simply more fallen trees, debris, and damage than there are available crews.
“I called the tree company about Saturday and they told me that they might get out today. I called back today they said it will be probably weeks,” said Daniel Goldstein of Havertown.
Goldstein is so worried about the new nor’easter that has popped on the radar that he is trying to cut down a partially fallen tree in his yard with a hand saw, since tree-cutting companies are overwhelmed in the county.
“I’m just trying to take some of the bigger pieces down, because I don’t want the rest of the tree to go this way,”
Utility companies are making progress in repairing downed power lines.
As of Monday night, around 27,935 PECO customers are in the dark. There are more than 2,355 PPL customers are still without power.
Atlantic City Electric has 124 homes and business in the dark, Delmarva Power has 323, and PSE&G about 32 outages.
Delaware County Community College will be operating warming centers at all of their campuses (Middletown, Marple, Sharon Hill and Upper Darby) on Tuesday, March 6 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.