Tamaqua area power outage affects 11,000 PPL customers
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS PPL workers work to restore power to their Greenwood substation located near the intersection of Ye Old Hauto Road and Lafayette Avenue (SR54) in Hometown.
Despite plenty of brilliant sunshine Thursday morning, residents of Tamaqua and surrounding communities found themselves in the dark.
A Veterans Day power outage that began at 10:45 a.m. left Tamaqua, Rush Township, Schuylkill Township and the Lewistown Valley without electricity.
Martha Herron, regional community relations director for PPL Utilities, Hazleton office, said the cause of the outage was traced to Reynolds, Walker Township.
"It was due to a broken cross arm brace on the old Reynolds cap line. It needed repair," said Herron.
Herron explained that PPL transferred the electrical power load and was able to isolate the problem.
More than 11,000 customers were affected with the outage, including 7,500 in the Tamaqua area, stated Herron.
At times, PPL's website also listed Rush Township as having 5,229 customers affected and Schuylkill Township with 2,239 out of power.
The borough's power was restored shortly after the problem was corrected around 11 a.m., Herron said, although Copperhead Chemical in Reynolds remained out for a time in the afternoon. Only a few were without power for more than two hours.
The outage included PPL's "Pottsville stretch" of power lines from its Tuscarora substation, southeast of the Catawissa Road intersection, and PPL workers were also visible at the Greenwood substation on Ye Old Hauto Road in Hometown.
PPL used a helicopter equipped with cameras and special equipment to investigate the problem. The helicopter assists with examining power lines due to high terrain, which can limit access to utility poles.
Lehigh Carbon Community College's Morgan Center in Tamaqua held an evacuation during the outage.
Police departments and fire police volunteers had to direct traffic through busy intersections where traffic lights were out.
(Correspondent Andrew Leibenguth also contributed to this story).