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Power restored to New Hope historic district; PECO details repair efforts (UPDATED)

Water pump on South Franklin Street in Lambertville (Photo: Sara Scully)

Power returned to West Mechanic, Ferry, Bridge, New and Main streets in New Hope Friday evening, and residents there couldn’t be more relieved. Attention now turns to remaining pockets of darkness in New Hope, Solebury and surrounding areas. According to current online PECO data, Bucks County still has more than 50,000 homes without power.

According to a PECO spokesperson, the company has 3,200 employees “working in the field continuing to repair this unprecedented damage.” Those PECO personnel are working alongside repair teams from as far away as Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee, the company said. They are hoping to have 90 percent of their customer base restored by midnight Saturday, with most of the remaining areas up and running by the end of the weekend.

That said, the PECO spokesperson cautioned that those estimates are changeable as crews get deeper into specific repair projects and encounter unforeseen damage. When pressed on whether upper Bucks County was receiving lower restoration prioritization than other areas, the PECO spokesperson aptly pointed out, “We started repairs everywhere at the same time. You just have more trees up there.”

With power up for many more people in downtown New Hope tonight, attention is turning toward helping those in the borough and Solebury who remain without power. And the focus will also shift across the river to the devastation of New Jersey and our sister city of Lambertville. Many there are surely hoping that much-needed generators and other resources will now be flowing more freely over the bridge in their direction.

Update Saturday, Nov. 3: Correspondent Sara Scully reports that gas will now be rationed in 12 New Jersey counties including Hunterdon. The restriction does not apply to walk ups with gas cans. How it works: Last digit on a given license plate determines which day one can fill up. That means odd digits = odd days, even digits = even days. Zero counts as an even number, and vanity plate letters are treated as odd numbers.

Update 2, Saturday, Nov. 3: JCP&L restoration estimates from 2 p.m. yesterday (not updated yet) — LAMBERTVILLE CITY: out of power=2379, restored Nov. 2=13, Nov. 3=130, Nov. 4=383, total=526 or 22% fixed by midnight Nov.4. STOCKTON BOROUGH: out of power=284, restored Nov. 2=15, Nov. 3=15, Nov.4=45, total=75 or 26% fixed by midnight Nov. 4. WEST AMWELL: out of power=1282, fixed Nov. 2=7, Nov. 3=7-, Nov. 4=206, total=283 or 22%.

Update, Sunday, Nov. 4: PECO statement: “Working around-the-clock for five days, PECO, local contract, and out-of-state support crews have restored electricity to more than 327,000 (87%) of the customers left without electric service in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

“Hurricane Sandy caused widespread damage along the East Coast and locally to more than 850,000 PECO customers – making Sandy the most damaging storm in company history. About 50,000 customers remain without power across the PECO service territory on Saturday afternoon.

“Currently 30,000 customers remain without service in Bucks County, and 15,000 customers remain without service in Montgomery County. The company also is working to restore scattered outages in Chester, Delaware and Philadelphia counties.

“PECO expects most of the remaining customers to have service restored by Sunday midnight. Some customers in the most damaged and isolated areas may be without electric service until early in the week.

“In Bucks County; Bristol, Lower Makefield, Upper Makefield, Solebury townships and New Hope, and in Montgomery County; Cheltenham, Abington, Upper Moreland, Lower Merion, and Plymouth, townships are the areas most impacted by power outages.

“I want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we continue to focus on safely restoring service across the region,” said Craig Adams, PECO President and CEO. “We know it is hard to be without electric, especially for several days. I want to assure our customers that we will not stop until every last customer is restored.”

“PECO set up customer information centers in the region where customers can speak with a PECO representative regarding their outage:

Sunday, Nov. 4, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

New Hope Solebury High School, 183 West Bridge Street, New Hope, PA

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Charlie Sahner

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