Irene certainly packed a punch, as thousands now cope with aftermath
By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
UPDATED: 12:15 p.m. EDT — While it could have been a lot worse, Monday continued the process of cleaning up after the damage of Hurricane Irene. Thousands of Unionville area homes remain without power at this hour, some bridges and roadways remain closed because flooding and Unionville-Chadds Fords schools were forced to close on what would have been the first day of school.
Reports continue to filter in, but here are a few nuggets: the Rt. 926 bridge over the Brandywine reopened mid-morning, and in general, flood waters appear to be receding. US-1 also reopened near the Brandywine, which has forced a lot of traffic up through Pocopson and created traffic issues on Route 52 at the Lenape Bridge. Just before noon, Creek Road remained closed.
Power issues have traffic lights at various locations out — although some have turned back on, while others have gone dark as Monday rolled on. That includes the light at US 1 and US 202 on the border of Chadds Ford and neighboring Concord, which is again in service after having been down — but traffic lights just to the north of the intersection on 202 were not working by midday. Various other traffic lights are out — almost seemingly at random.
There are still reports of downed power lines and trees across the region, as clean up crews and PECO repair crews work to repair damage. Some folks could be without power for as long as a week. PECO said that some 57,000 Chester County residents and 64,000 Delaware County residents were without power as of this morning, although that’s about half the total left without power at the storm’s peak, a company spokesperson said. East Marlborough, Pennsbury and Chadds Ford appear to have been hit hardest by outages.
There were scattered reports of problems with local cellphone networks, likely caused by heavy use thanks to so many people being without power.
There are many closures, including the Brandywine River Museum, which will be closed all day, the Kennett YMCA, despite struggling with power issues, but now expects to remain closed until 5 a.m. Tuesday — a day earlier then first expected. Storm damage, also, has ended the outdoor swimming season at the Kennett YMCA pool which will have to close for repairs until next season. Numerous local businesses remain closed.
Government officials are suggesting that if you do not need to go out, that folks should try to stay off the roads to allow emergency personnel to get their work done. We’ll have more as the day continues. If you have a story or tip to share, please e-mail it to email@example.com