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UPDATE: Route 202 Still Closed

A tree still is down across one of the busiest routes in Central Bucks, and most of New Britain still is out of power.

A huge tree still hung precariously over one of the busiest roads in Central Bucks on Wednesday, just another casualty of unprecedented storm damage.

New Britain Borough still is awaiting the arrival of a PECO or PennDOT crew to tackle the tree down across Route 202 near Keeley Avenue, borough mayor David Holewinski said Wednesday.

Hurricane Sandy brought the tree down earlier this week, and it has remained there since.

"We’re trying to get somebody out to handle it, but they can’t give us any idea of when they might be out here," said Holewinski.

The mayor said he has spoken with Ted Dorand, the municipality's PECO liaison, and gave him the location of all trees known to be down on roads or wires in New Britain.

Dorand couldn't give him an estimated time when the utility would be able to respond, Holewinski said.

Until that happens, the busy road that connects Central Bucks remains closed. Drivers are being detoured over Tamenend Avenue to avoid the closure.

Meanwhile, Holewinski said power remains out to nearly everyone in the 3,100-person town.

"To my knowledge, no one has power. The only ones who have power are those who have a generator," said Holewinski, who is without power himself.

PECO has about 700 customers in New Britain Borough. The company's outage map gives only a range of customers out, but the "501 - 1,500" designation seems to back up Holewinski's assessment of total or near-total power loss.

Many in the borough have been helping each other out, checking on older neighbors and making sure people have food and water as they wait for power to be restored, the mayor said.

Still, Holewinski said he has sympathy for the company, which he described as "overwhelmed." 

"I’m not one who gives people a pass real easily, but I’m more apt to give PECO a pass this time," said the mayor. "In this case, I think all of us just need to realize the magnitude of the damage and the magnitude of that storm.

"This shows us it’s going to come down to people helping people," Holewinski said. "That’s the spirit that we all need to pick up and learn from this."

PECO has said that it hopes to have 85 to 90 percent of its customers in Bucks County restored with power by Friday.

Holewinski said he has been told PECO is aiming for 11 p.m. on Wednesday to have power back on to New Britain customers.

Suzanne Stratton November 01, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Thank you for posting..I was headed that way tomorrow. I will find a new route.
Sarah Larson (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 04:20 AM
No problem, Suzanne. You should still be able to get through using Tamenend and either Woodland Dr. or Beulah Rd to avoid the closed part. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
Peter Oberth November 01, 2012 at 01:27 PM
We are in New Britain and got our power back last night around 7:30PM. It seems our whole street has power. We are on Iron Hill Rd. Perhaps it is because we are right on the border of Doylestown across from DelVal?
Sarah Larson (Editor) November 01, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Great to hear, Peter. That could be the reason. Utilities try to get the largest number of people back online at once, so the college would be a good target. Stay warm!
Robin Bassion November 01, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Peter, it sounds like you are in NB Twp. It is the boro, the portion on either side of 202 towards Chalfont who are still out which includes my parents. I cannot imagine the volume PECO and road crews are dealing with right now. No snow yet and it is the fourth day schools are closed across the area, that says a lot about the conditions. Going to take awhile to get things back to normal.
steve L. November 03, 2012 at 01:21 AM
its friday nov. 2 got my power back a few hours ago.Although it was a tough 70 some hours it makes you appreciette the little things you take for granted.
Sarah Larson (Editor) November 03, 2012 at 01:24 AM
So glad to hear it, Steve. Thanks for the update, and enjoy the light and heat. Yes, it does make you appreciate the "little" things that aren't really little when they're missing!
steve L. November 03, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Sarah when i was little we had 3 6 and 10 on the tv now we have 1000 channels with nothing on. man i missed it
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