PECO fights to restore power as residents wait for light and heat


Hundreds of thousands are still without power because of this week’s ice storm. Many will be in the dark until Sunday night.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett toured the area to get a first-hand look at what it will take to restore everyone’s power. He says Superstorm Sandy may have left more people without electricity, but this in some respects is worse. “Because in Hurricane Sandy it was during the summertime, the weather was warmer, the workers didn’t have to deal with ice and snow to work around,” Corbett said.  “I overheard one of the workers talking about when they are up there with trees covered in ice and snow they are called the widowmakers because they can cause accidents, injure people or kill people.” PECO energy officials say they have thousands working on restoring power, importing crews from as far away as Chicago, but fixing all the damage will take days. That has people going into survival mode.  After waking up on Wednesday morning, Abe Koffenberger spent three hours finding dry firewood for his West Chester home.  Now he’s got another problem. “Got home and lit the fire and slept very coldly covered in sleeping bags but woke up today also no power, but had just enough firewood to heat the place in the morning,” Koffenberger said. “Now we’re back out on the road trying to take a shower somewhere.” Koffenberger says he’s called PECO multiple times but still hasn’t been able to speak to anyone who knows when his power will be turned back on. Annette Johnson of Downingtown is in the same situation. She says with a generator she and her husband are more fortunate than most, but they don’t run the generator all the time. “Thank goodness my husband figured out how to work how to work it,” Johnson said.  “We bought it four years ago and never had to use it.  Now we are using it every other hour just to extend the life and the gasoline usage and whatever.” After some time on PECO’s website, we found out the Johnson’s are scheduled to have their power back by 11 p.m. Sunday.  Annette, of course, hopes it comes sooner. President Obama has declared the five county Philadelphia region as well as Lancaster and York counties a disaster area.

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