Three Potter County communities have declared states of disaster emergency today, a designation that authorizes local officials to take extraordinary measures to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Coudersport Borough, Genesee Township and Roulette Township are working with the Department of Emergency Services to coordinate that action. Under state law, municipalities that approve the declarations can authorize emergency management coordinators to “take all appropriate action needed to alleviate the effects of this disaster, to aid in the restoration of essential public services, and to take any other emergency response action deemed necessary to respond.” This can range from hiring of temporary employees, equipment rental and supplies purchases, to mandatory evacuations.
West Penn Power/First Energy is working to restore electrical service to the Coudersport and Roulette areas, but the process is complex and time-consuming. The company must first restore service to central substations prior to deploying crews to re-establish localized/neighborhood service. The latter process will take a considerable amount of time, as damage to lines and related equipment is severe.
Meanwhile, Penelec reports that about 4,500 Potter County customers were without power as of Friday morning. Penelec expects to have service restored in the Galeton area by late Friday.
Tri-County REC is working to restore its larger grid areas as quickly as possible.
Charles Cole Memorial Hospital has implemented its emergency procedure plan. Individuals in need of emergency care or attention due to extraordinary medical conditions (oxygen, c-pap, nebulizers, etc.) are advised to go to Cole’s Emergency Department for referral to the Short Procedure Unit.
Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department has announced that its modular units along Rt. 6 west in Coudersport are open as comfort stations.
Tri-Town Volunteer Fire Department in Ulysses has water available to those in need.
Potter County Emergency Operations Center remains partially activated with staff compiling municipal damage reports, road closure information, power outage information and unmet needs. The number is 814-274-8900.
Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.