November 6, 2013 |
DRIP. DRIP. Drip. How'd you spend your Monday morning? I spent it talking to Ellis Gilliom, staring into a hole in the ground at 61st and Lindbergh. He said water had been leaking from a busted hydrant for more than a month after it was sheared off by a passing car. A longtime Philadelphian, Gilliom, 69, knew it was a small issue when compared with some of the doozies residents routinely face. But this inattention is emblematic of how Philly deals with problems: waiting until the drip of something small and fixable becomes a geyser of something big and expensive.
August 27, 2013 |
The slog across Eighth Street is rarely smooth or easy. Nearly 12,000 cars travel its two narrow lanes daily, like herds of Holsteins lumbering through the squeeze chute. But for the last few weeks, the busy thoroughfare has gone from merely aggravating to you-must-be-kidding. A $6 million repaving project that began Aug. 5 and will end in early September has ripped the hide off the street, leaving it gashed and cratered. Work crews wielding jackhammers and riding Bobcats have taken over, shoving cars to the curb or blocking them.
April 17, 2013 |
THE 1996 ATLANTA Olympic Park bombing. The World Trade Center massacre. The London subway bombing. The stabbing death of a U.S. citizen during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Newtown. Three dead and, at last count, more than 140 injured in Monday's bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. That's our world. These are timelines my three children will use to mark their ascent into adulthood, just as the deaths of JFK, RFK and MLK, and the attempted assassinations of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan marked mine.
January 3, 2013 |
A cable beneath 16th and Market Streets in Center City began smoking early this morning, causing officials worried about a separate gas leak to evacuate an apartment building. The 10-story Oakwood Apartments building at 16th and Sansom was cleared of its residents, and 16th street was closed between Chestnut and Walnut Streets for much of the morning. Karen Muldoon-Geus, a Peco spokeswoman, said the incident occurred about 3:30 a.m. when smoke was spotted coming from a manhole.
December 24, 2012 |
Peco Energy Co. is reporting an "issue with underground cables" near Lancaster Avenue and Rittenhouse Place in Lower Merion. Peco workers are on site, and the utility company is assembling more specialized crews to assess the damage. Peco will have to cut off electricity before workers can go underground safely, company spokesman Ben Armstrong said. "The insulation around the cables could be heating up and causing the manhole to smoke," Armstrong said. "You could be seeing smoke coming from the manhole.
June 7, 2012 |
SOMETIMES, WHEN our phone line was particularly quiet, we'd get worried that you had run out of neighborhood problems, and we couldn't be useful anymore. On the other hand, that's what we wanted, right? If you stopped calling, it could mean only good things. But then, someone would call to say that dozens of stray cats were camping out in an abandoned RV on a vacant lot. And we'd feel silly. Run out of neighborhood problems? In Philly? The City Howl Help Desk is closing its doors for now, but we're going to leave you with some lessons we've learned from looking into your quality-of-life complaints these last couple of years.
November 8, 2011 |
An explosion and a fire in a manhole knocked out power to about 1,400 PECO customers in Northeast Philadelphia and played havoc with traffic about 3 hours this morning. The blast was reported about 7:20 a.m. in a manhole on the 7500 block of Bustleton Avenue in Rhawnhurst. PECO said power was restored around 10:20 a.m. The police closed Bustleton Avenue from Cottman Avenue to St. Vincent Street after the explosion and reported that traffic lights were out in the area, including those at Roosevelt Boulevard and Harbison Avenue.
November 2, 2011 |
SOMETIMES it's the little things that are hardest to fix. With the help of Licenses & Inspections and members of the Queen Village Neighbors Association, Ted Warren has taken on giant neighborhood problems - like vacant lots and abandoned properties - and won. Last spring, Warren got to see his work in action. A developer transformed the vast vacant lot across from his house, which he and his partners had targeted, into a row of single-family homes. But after the construction, something was left behind: an uncovered manhole.
June 29, 2011 |
An underground cable explosion dislodged a manhole cover and briefly knocked out power this afternoon to about 1,000 customers in the Powelton Village section of West Philadelphia, PECO said. No injuries were reported, but traffic backed up in the area as traffic lights went dark for up to a half-hour. Liz Williamson, a PECO spokeswoman, said the cable failed about 12:10 in a manhole on Powelton Avenue and 38th Street near Presbyterian Hospital. The hospital did not lose power.
July 28, 2010
A 4-year-old boy suffered minor injuries Tuesday morning when he fell into an open sewer in West Philadelphia, police said. The boy was walking with his mother down 43d Street near Fairmount Avenue around 10 a.m. when he dropped out of sight into an uncovered utility hole, police said. His mother pulled him out of the six-foot-deep sewer before a rescue squad arrived. The boy, who was not named by police, was taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a precaution. Police said the boy was not looking where he was going and the manhole cover was missing and possibly stolen.