January 5, 2015 |
Matt Jenkins is still thinking about last winter. The 26-year tree-service veteran saw crushed homes, smashed vehicles, and a lot of property damage after February's epic ice storm. "It seems like it took us all year to get everybody cleaned up that had damage in our specific area," said Jenkins, owner of Top Notch Tree Service in Downingtown, Chester County. For the rest of the year, he saw about a 20 percent hike in business from customers looking for preventive tree work, he said.
November 8, 2014 |
Tree guys all over the Philadelphia region still talk about Feb. 5, 2014. That day, a brutal ice storm toppled even the hardest of the hardwood trees. Oaks, hickories, and beeches, along with the Eastern white pines and other easy marks, keeled over, ripped through utility wires, and crashed onto cars, roads, and houses. Nine months later, as another winter approaches, Chris Miller, a certified arborist and district manager of Davey Tree in King of Prussia, continues to plow through a backlog of work from the ice storm and other winter damage, especially in Chester and Montgomery Counties.
September 14, 2014 |
Talk about storm damage. What started as a leaky roof at a Norristown house in February ended this week with the resignation of the borough's code-enforcement officer and embarrassment for the local district judge who, it turned out, had illegally rented the building. Joseph Januzelli, Norristown's code officer since 2008, was forced to resign, town officials say, after an internal review found he failed to make sure the 81-year-old renter's house was up to code. Januzelli came under scrutiny after Ilene Schwartz told municipal council members that her landlord, District Justice Francis Lawrence, was slow to fix her roof after it was damaged in an ice storm.
July 13, 2014 |
After almost 66 hours without air-conditioning, or use of the stove or microwave, the Moock family of Yardley finally got the power back Friday afternoon. "It was getting a little hot, and it was just frustrating not knowing when we would get it back," said Jimmy Moock, who endured the prolonged outage with his pregnant wife, Cairssa, and 19-month-old daughter with some help from a generator. The Moocks, who live off Main Street, were among the last to have power restored after fast-moving, wood-whacking storms Tuesday night knocked it out to 260,000 Peco customers.
June 3, 2014 |
Unbeknownst to Todd Hilsee, the power company's chain saws had just cut down 189 trees on his grandmother's property when he sat down with Upper Pottsgrove Township officials to discuss how to save it from development. It was a 17-acre haven - she'd called it Fairy House Wilds - where he'd spent many summers. One of the officials recognized the location. "Snyder Road? Have you seen it lately? It looks like a logging camp. " Hilsee raced over and was sickened by what he saw. Along a quarter-mile stretch of one of Montgomery County's most scenic byways, contractors for the electric company, FirstEnergy Corp., had taken down scores of mature hickories, oaks, beeches, dogwoods, and redbuds.
May 21, 2014 |
Too many customers received mixed messages, contradictory messages - or no message at all - from their electric utilities during the massive February ice storm, according to state regulators. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Monday documented shortcomings in the way Peco Energy Co. and other electric utilities communicated with customers during the storm, which knocked out 960,000 customers, including 724,000 Peco customers. While generally commending the utilities' response, the PUC made 11 recommendations - mostly regarding outreach with customers and local governments.
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.