City of Lancaster, PPL prepare for latest winter storm
Facing the threat of yet another significant winter storm overnight into Thursday, municipalities are doing what they can now to prepare for more snow.
William Santiago is still cleaning up the mess from last week’s winter storms. An employee for the Lancaster Downtown Investment District, he was trying to clear a pathway for pedestrians and wheelchairs to pass safely.
At it for a while, he had a strategy.
“I’m chopping it up into little pieces, so far, to see if I can get ahead of myself,” Santiago said. “So every time I hit it, if I’m lucky enough, I get two chunks out of it.”
Lancaster Streets Department crews are also doing what they can to haul leftover snow from major streets downtown.
“We tried to get a jump on, removing some of the snow from the curb line,” said Charlotte Katzenmoyer, the city’s public works director. “Just so that we have some place to push the snow if we do have to go into snow plowing operations on Thursday.”
Katzenmoyer said the city has enough salt to get through to get through the upcoming storm, but if more follow, things could get hairy.
“We had to beg and borrow from the salt company, because everybody is in the same bind, east of the Mississippi,” she said. “There’s just not enough salt supply around with the severe weather that we’ve had.”
Though he’ll likely have to be right back out after the storm, chopping down frozen blocks of snow, Santiago is keeping a positive attitude.
“It’s winter, what can you do? Right? So just go along with the flow, like I say,” he said.
Power companies, like PPL Electric, are gearing up for the storm as well.
At the highest point, more than 53,000 PPL customers in the Lancaster area lost power following last Wednesday’s icy storm.
The power company held back contractors to respond to the storm and also called in additional crews from unaffected areas in PPL territory.
Some 400 crews came from as far south as Alabama and Georgia. In all, about 1600 teams helped restore power to the area. All affected PPL customers had power by Saturday night.
“Ice is bad, and heavy wet snow is bad. So either way, it could create some outages on the system,” said PPL Spokesman John Levitski. “So either way, we just have to be prepared and be ready to respond.”
If you notice snow on tree branches and can safely remove it with a broom, it may help prevent the limbs from falling. It would also be helpful if you clear the snow from around fire hydrants, so firefighters have an easier time accessing them, if needed.
You should have the phone numbers to all of your utility companies in case you lose power or utilities. For PPL, that number is 1-800-DIAL-PPL or 1-800-342-5775.