elaware County clocked 3,286 storm-related incidents during Hurricane Sandy, including downed trees and flooded roadways, but there were no reports of any serious injuries during the storm, according to County Emergency Services director Ed Truitt.
Delaware County clocked 3,286 storm-related incidents during Hurricane Sandy, including downed trees and flooded roadways, but there were no reports of any serious injuries during the storm, according to County Emergency Services director Ed Truitt.
"The first thing on the agenda, nobody got hurt in Delaware County," said Truitt. "Things can be replaced, people can't."
The only storm-related injury marked in the county was to a 2-month old child who was injured when a tree fell through the roof of a home in Upper Darby Monday morning. The child suffered cuts from branches and was taken to an area hospital, but her injuries were not life-threatening.
The highest number of storm related incidents was in Darby, where 448 events were reported, and the lowest number of reported incidents was in Rose Valley, where just two incidents were reported, Truitt said.
The most harrowing call perhaps was in Collingdale, where a downed, live wire trapped 28 residents of two apartment buildings and one house inside their homes for an hour while their roofs were ablaze in a three-alarm fire, said Collingdale Police Chief Bob Adams.
Around 8:30 p.m. Monday, high winds caused a PECO line to break free from its pole and it began swinging along the roofs and out front of the three buildings along MacDade Boulevard near Hillside Avenue."People couldn't get out of their houses because the line was still burning and the houses were energized," Adams said.
For about an hour, until PECO crews could de-energize the line, the 28 residents were forced to stay in their homes while small fires burned on their roofs and the broken line burned free on the pavement in front of their houses, Adams said.
Once power to the line was shut off, the residents were evacuated. All but two were able to find shelter on their own. Those two people were taken to a Red Cross shelter in Ridley, Adams said. All three structures suffered minor damage.
In flood-prone Darby, where the Darby Creek often overflows its banks, borough officials were counting their blessings that there were no flooded streets and power had been restored to all residents by noon.
"Thank God we dodged the storm and Darby is being blessed today," said Mayor Helen Thomas. "The creek looks so good."
Police Chief Robert Smythe said the biggest incident in the borough was a blown transformer that caused two poles to come down around 3 p.m. He said PECO workers went up in the wind and rain to get it fixed.
"When the rain and wind was hitting those guys were like 'We've got to get this done,'" Smythe said. "I thought it was a very big risk to put the pole trucks up, but they got those folks back on in a half hour."
Still, about half the borough lost power around 11 p.m. Monday, he said. That included the Darby Community Center, where about 50 people sought refuge at an emergency shelter set up there. A backup generator provided power to the center, but it got chilly quick, said April Overton, who stayed the night at the shelter with her children, mother and other relatives.
"They took care of us though and gave us more blankets," said Overton. "Overall, I'm just happy we were safe, that no one got hurt and I just thank God for all these people here."
Her mother, Theresa Overton, agreed.
"There was plenty of love and that's what we need a lot of," she said. "Everybody getting together and working together and loving together and helping each other because we never know what's coming up in front of us."
The Overtons were some of the last remaining evacuees at the center, which sheltered about 50 people Monday. The center was closed down by 2 p.m., once electricity had been restored to all homes.
Sylvia and Eric Jackson of Colwyn volunteered at the center Tuesday, driving evacuated residents like 78-year-old Dorothy Jones back to their homes.
"We're doing this to help the senior citizens out," said Sylvia Jackson, 66. "I know the mayor and I told her 'If you need our help, we're available,' and she said 'Come on down.'"
Darby Council President Janice Davis, who had manned the shelter since Sunday evening, had just one bone to pick with Hurricane Sandy after stopping by her house Tuesday to assess any damage.
"The only thing I'm upset about through this whole storm is my goddarn Obama sign blew away!" she said. "I'm upset. I'm mad about it!"