Power has been restored to many in the Central Bucks area, but tens of thousands remain without electricity across the county on Friday.
PECO says it still is on track to have power restored to 90 percent of its customers who lost power after Hurricane Sandy.
But as days dragged on, and numbers in other counties began to fall, it became increasingly clear that many of the remaining still powerless into next week would be in Bucks County.
So, is Bucks County the 10 percent?
Some local leaders are starting to think so.
"I just got off the phone with a resident in one corner of the township, they’re without power, they’re without water. They’ve gotten three different restoration estimations and nothing has happened," Doylestown Township Supervisor Barb Lyons said Friday. "They’re desperate, at this point."
PECO has said that 850,000 of its customers lost power because of Hurricane Sandy. By Friday, electric service had been restored to 710,000 customers, it said, or a little more than 83 percent.
That leaves these customers still without power, according to PECO:
- Bucks County = 84,000
- Chester County = 3,000
- Delaware County = 4,000
- Montgomery County = 45,000
- Philadelphia County = 4,000
- York County = scattered
Service for most remaining customers should be restored during the weekend, the company said, while some customers in the most damaged and isolated areas may be without electric service until next week.
Restoration Timeframe Remains Uncertain
But PECO can't or won't give the press or municipal leaders a timetable of when and where power will be restored. Its morning updates detail only how many customers have been restored and how many are still out.
In Doylestown Township, for example, 2,804 PECO customers still were without power Friday morning, down from 6,949 on Tuesday, Lyons said.
In Doylestown Borough, the number without power held steady at about 4,680 for days, Borough Council President Det Ansinn said. Friday morning, that number was down to about 1,800.
The progress is heartening, both municipal officials said. But as the week drew to a close and tens of thousands remained without power in Bucks, concern lingered.
"Corbett said we 'dodged a bullet' with Hurricane Sandy, but here in Bucks County, there are still going to be a lot of people out of power into next week," Ansinn said. "There are just large areas of Fairless Hills and Middletown who are still out. Here in Doylestown, we still have most of Maple, Linden’s out, a large portion of Old Orchard is out, and so is Clemens Farm.
"They’re not going to be back up by midnight tonight," Ansinn said. "And it’s going to be really cold this weekend."
No movement for Met Ed in Upper Bucks
Not one of Met Ed’s customers in Bucks County has gotten power back on since Hurricane Sandy slammed through the area on Monday.
According to the utility, 6,016 customers still were out of power on Friday, as they had been all week.
"We have significant work to do for the Bucks County customers of Met Ed," company spokesman Scott Surgeoner said Friday. "We have two transmission lines and feeder circuits that we need to do repairs on to get them back in service."
Surgeoner said Met Ed moved crews into Bucks County on Thursday, including one from Duke Energy out of North Carolina.
As the crews begin tackling the damaged equipment, the customers in Tinicum, Nockamixon, Bridgeton and Durham townships and Riegelsville should start seeing some progress.
"We hope to begin restoring Bucks County customers today and into Saturday," Surgeoner said.
Met Ed has said it hopes to have 95 percent of its overall customers restored by Saturday. Will the 5 percent who are still out be the people in Bucks County?
"It could, although I would expect some restoration tonight and tomorrow," Surgeoner said. "Our crews will work around the clock until the last customer is restored."
PPL, meanwhile, still had 15,236 customers from Hilltown up through the Quakertown area out of power as of Friday.