To view a follow-up story to this, visit https://tamaquaarea.com/2015/10/28/possible-flight-path-of-230-foot-military-blimp-that-broke-loose-in-maryland-and-crash-lands-in-Pennsylvania/.
Multiple incidents involving fallen power lines have resulted in over 4,637 PPL customers in Schuylkill County to be without power as of 2:30 PM today (Wednesday, October 28, 2015). The majority of customers affected are in Rush Township and Schuylkill Township.
Two incidents in the Tamaqua area occurred around 1:30 PM and involved fallen power lines near 478 Valley Street in Brockton and near mile marker 131 on Interstate 81.
Most power is expected to be restored by 8 PM tonight or later.
PPL’s online outage map states that 4,637 customers in Schuylkill County were without power as of 3 PM. To include 992 PPL customers in and around Barnesville, 855 PPL customers in and around Brockton, 805 PPL customers in and around Nuremburg, 698 PPL customers near exit 131 on Intersate 81, 678 PPL customers in and around Quakake, 553 PPL customers in and around Delano, 25 customers in and around Mount Carbon, 16 PPL customers in and around Zions Grove, 13 PPL customers in and around Girardville, 1 PPL customer in New Philadelphia and 1 PPL customer in Kline Township.
A related news story online states that JLENS, a NORAD military blimp, became untethered from its mooring in Maryland and is now flying up to 10,000 feet over Pennsylvania, trailing approximately 6,700 feet of cable. It is believed to be lower to the ground in Columbia County. The military is reaching out to the State Police and National Guard to secure the site where it comes down. It is unknown if the blimp caused the downed power lines in Schuylkill County. No official cause has been released.
Although Columbia County and Bloomsburg’s power outage are possibly related to the blimp. Click HERE to view the related story on CNN. (UPDATE: The blimp landed around 4:20 PM in the area of Muncy, near Williamsport, according to Bob Reese, a state police spokesman in Montoursville. Click HERE to view a Twitter photo of the blimp in a tree via WNEP TV.)
A related statement on PPL’s Facebook page reads, “An update for customers: We are assessing and responding to damage to our system reportedly caused by the tether line of the runaway blimp. We are working to switch many affected customers to other circuits, restoring power. It has not been determined how long repairs will take. The damage appears to be most extensive in Columbia and Schuylkill counties.“
The Hometown Farmers Market and WalMart were both without power as of 3 PM. (UPDATE: Power back on at 3:30 PM)
Fire police volunteers could be seen staged throughout Rush Township providing traffic control and generator power to traffic lights.
Click HERE to view PPL’s online power outage map.
TamaquaArea.com Video of power lines down along Valley Road in Brockton (Schuylkill Township):
TamaquaArea.com Photos of power lines down along Valley Road in Brockton (Schuylkill Township):