Met-Ed working on repairs after storm damage

Met-Ed continued repairs Friday in the wake of the thunderstorms that knocked out power to thousands of customers in Berks County.

The chance of showers and storms continues Friday. For next week, another heat wave is forecast.

At one point, about 9:30 pm Thursday, the outage map listed over 3,800 customers without service, with Exeter Township getting hit the hardest, having more than half of the county total.

By midmorning Friday, the number out of service was a little more than 700, which was cut in half by the lunch hour.

“The winds packed enough punch to bring down trees and cause outages,” said Todd L. Meyers, a Met-Ed spokesperson. “We repaired the damage and got a number of customers back on throughout the evening and overnight, but when we tried this morning to re-energize the circuit that serves 800 or so customers in Exeter Township earlier this morning, there was still a problem. ”

Blow by blow

The squall line entered Berks about 5 pm Thursday and drenched Reading and the suburbs before slowly moving off to the east.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 5:38 pm for sections of eastern Berks. The warning expired at 6:30 pm

The Reading Fire Department was called about 5:30 pm for two people on top of a car in the Spring Street “subway,” a low-lying area that often floods during downpours.

The water depth was reported to be about 2 feet, according to emergency reports. Both people were safely transported out of the subway by fire crews.

Shortly before 6 pm water rescue crews were dispatched to the Schuylkill River in Tilden Township at the Yarnell Park Trailhead at Water Street and 5 Locks Road.

Police were searching for someone who may have jumped,” according to emergency reports. The National Weather Service hydrology division estimates the water is about 5 feet in that spot.

By about 7 pm, the search was called off in Tilden Township after no one was found.

Also about 6 pm, crews were called for a car that hit a utility pole in the rain and rolled on Route 61 near Schappell Road in Windsor Township, with the driver entrapped. He was soon freed from the wreckage, according to reports.

Route 61 northbound was closed, however, until about 7:30 pm

Problems with trees and limbs down continued through the night.

“We also have about 400 customers out of power in Douglass and Earl Townships,” Meyers said Friday. “That outage began at 4:30 am There are reports of a tree down on a wire at Winding Road near Sunset Drive.

“Treas can lean on lines for a time before outages occur. Also, when we make repairs, we sometimes need to interrupt power on low-hanging intact lines to work safely.”

Tale of the tapes

The top wind gust recorded at Reading Regional Airport was 45 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The airport recorded about a third of an inch of rain during the passage of the evening storm. There also were storms late Wednesday into early Thursday for a two-day total of 1.41 inches, more than doubling the 1.12 inches that had been recorded for the month before Wednesday.

The month at 2.53 inches of rain, was still 1.75 inches below normal, but the two days provided some measure of catchup.

Many spots in Berks saw another inch of rain Thursday. Few have monthly totals as low as the airport’s.

Jeffrey R. Stoudt, founder of the Berks Area Rainfall Networks, has recorded 5.24 inches for July at his Lincoln Park residence.

What’s next?

Mostly sunny skies and low humidity are forecast for Saturday through Monday, with daily highs in the upper 80s, mid-80s and lower 80s, respectively, according to AccuWeather.

The heat is forecast to build to 90 degrees on Tuesday with the chance of storms, and ditto for Wednesday, AccuWeather says.

Upper 90s are possible Thursday and Friday to close out the workweek. Mild and breezy nights are expected from Tuesday through the end of the week.

The date records for Thursday and Friday are 98 degrees from 1944 and 100 degrees from 1955.

The high temperature so far this year is 97, which occurred Saturday and Sunday. They were part of a seven-day heat wave that ended with Monday.