PIKE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) County commissioners understand that the continuing power outages have been testing people’s patience. The Pike emergency operations center here has been operating around the clock since last Friday — and officials say they’ve been responding to damage in every corner of the county. Eyewitness News Reporter Eric Deabill has our story.
As this sign along Route 6 near Milford shows, there is growing frustration in Pike County.
Friday will mark one full week without power for many people.
County commissioners say while it may be easy to criticize the response of some utility companies, they say crews are working in dangerous and challenging conditions.
“Do I think they’re doing the best they can? Yeah. Is there room for improvement? There’s always room for improvement in all of this but this doesn't happen very often!” said
Commissioner Matthew Osterberg, (R) Pike County
Since last Friday’s storm hit, the Pike County Emergency Operations Center near Lords Valley has been operating around the clock.
Many workers and members of the National Guard have been sleeping on cots.
The number of 911 calls has been extraordinary.
“We probably did our yearly call volume within a week for a lot of the stuff. We’ve had welfare checks done by the National Guard, my own staff, local fire departments, state police” said Tim Knapp, Emergency Management Director.
Tim Knapp, Emergency Management Coordinator, says the response to this storm on a county level equals, if not surpasses, the effort they put in during the Eric Frein manhunt several years ago.
“This one has really been taxing on my staff. There isn’t nothing, I mean, we delivered water at 1:30 in the morning to shelters the other night” noted Knapp.
While the focus remains on power restoration right now, county leaders say they’re planning an “after-action” assessment of the storm response.
Commissioners want to bring together utility companies, PennDOT, and state lawmakers to see how the response can be improved next time.
“These events will occur again. There will be some type of weather-related incident in the county and we’re going to have to make sure we can do the plans we have in a better format” added Osterberg.