March 29, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - State lawmakers gave utilities a passing grade for their handling of the Feb. 5 ice storm that knocked out power to nearly one million households. But each company, they said, has room for improvement. In testimony before the House Consumer Affairs Committee on Thursday, executives for Peco, PPL, and First Energy said that although the ice storm was more destructive for Pennsylvania than Hurricane Sandy, its outages were resolved faster and customer satisfaction was higher.
March 14, 2014 |
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Wednesday said it wants to hear from electricity customers whose service was knocked out during last month's ice storm. The PUC will hold hearings on March 24 at Montgomery County Community College Advanced Technology Center, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and on March 26 at the Tredyffrin Township Building, 1100 DuPortail Road, Berwyn. The hearings start at 6:30 p.m. The storm knocked out 968,000 Pennsylvania electric customers, some for as long as nine days, and the PUC is particularly interested in hearing testimony about utility communications during the storm.
February 24, 2014 |
House-hunters keep hearing that inventory is tight. They're keeping a weather eye on interest rates. And, like the rest of us, they're enduring this patience-trying, snowblowing, when-will-it-end winter. As 2014's first ice storm hit, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 4.09 percent, the lowest in several weeks. Has the white stuff stopped folks from looking and buying? Not so you'd notice, some real estate agents say. "We were in [no-power] houses with flashlights," said Mary Beth Hurtado of Re/Max Executive in Bryn Mawr.
February 21, 2014 |
This month's ice storm was the costliest in Peco Energy Co.'s history, surpassing Hurricane Sandy in 2012, even though it knocked out 19 percent more customers. Peco estimates that the Feb. 5 storm, during which 715,000 customers lost power, will cost between $90 million and $120 million when the final bills come due. The recovery from Hurricane Sandy, which knocked out 850,000 customers, cost $72 million, said Cathy Engel Menendez, a Peco spokeswoman. Peco says the ice storm recovery was more arduous because winter working conditions were more harsh.
February 16, 2014 |
This month's ice storm may be the most expensive in Peco Energy Co.'s history. The Philadelphia utility estimated that restoration from this month's ice storm will cost between $90 million and $120 million. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 cost upwards of $91 million, according to filings by Peco's parent company, Exelon Corp. The utility will spend $60 million to $80 million in operating and maintenance expenses and $30 million to $40 million in capital expenses related to the ice storm, said Cathy Engel Menendez, a Peco spokeswoman.
February 15, 2014 |
The snow accumulated at astonishing rates, up to four inches an hour. And by the time most people got out of bed Thursday, yet another snow record had fallen. Schools, roads, malls, and governments had decided to call it a snow day, and the streets of a county seat were turned into cross-country ski trails. A week after a storm darkened whole communities in the region, a potent nor'easter simply shut them down, this time on both sides of the Delaware River, with up to 16 inches of snow, leaving them with prodigious cleanup chores.
February 14, 2014 |
As the region hunkers down for yet another fierce storm, Peco has a message for customers: We are ready. Some of those who felt the utility was less than prepared for last week's storm may be glad to hear that the company has 4,200 workers standing by for response and restoration Thursday, 1,200 more than it did a week ago. Still, this coastal nor'easter could be the most dramatic event yet in an already wild season. The National Weather Service posted a winter-storm warning for the entire region, saying six to 14 inches of snow would fall heavily early Thursday, then mix with sleet and rain, and change back to snow before ending Thursday night.
February 13, 2014 |
In Delaware County, some townships are waiting for road-salt deliveries that were supposed to arrive weeks ago. Officials in Northampton, Bucks County, paid a trucking company to bring in salt from a neighboring town rather than risk a late delivery. And in Chester County, where 12 municipalities face a critical salt shortage, the deputy director for emergency management, Robert Kagel, said the state Department of Transportation told him to "be creative. " After back-to-back snowfalls and a catastrophic ice storm that froze roads, downed power lines, and paralyzed the region last week, officials and residents are facing new challenges as they brace for another fierce storm that is expected to start just before midnight Wednesday.
February 12, 2014 |
Update 9:30 a.m. Tuesday : Peco reports 1,800 customers still without power, half in Chester County. Earlier Story About 99 percent. After days of round-the-clock work, that was how close repair crews had come late Monday to restoring all 715,000 Peco customers who lost power during or after last week's storm. That still meant more than 5,600 customers were waiting for the lights to come on for the first time in many days. "We know it's tough for our customers, but this is a version of Hurricane Sandy," Peco spokesman Ben Armstrong said, warning that some people might endure another day in the dark.
February 12, 2014 |
Nobody pines for a disastrous storm, but this winter, business has been coming out of the woodwork for tree specialists. The broken limbs and falling trees that resulted from last week's ice storm meant stress and holes in the roof for some. But to others it has been a moneymaker. Tree removal companies have been getting a lot of calls and a lot of business. "I've been doing this 42 years, and it's never been worse - or better for me, anyway," said Rick Crecraft of Crecraft for Tree Craft in Wayne.