Hundreds of people are without power Friday morning in the area of Mount Holly Springs following an intense Thursday night storm.
"It was the weirdest storm I’ve every seen in my entire life," said Borough Manager and Police Chief Tom Day. "The bolts of lightning and how the sky lit up, it seemed like it never stopped."
One borough police officer on patrol at the time of the storm took action to secure his vehicle because he "thought he was in a tornado" and was concerned his police car would overturn due to the strength of the winds, Day said.
A spokesperson for the National Weather Service said Friday morning they have received calls about the storm, but have not yet investigated.
While much of Cumberland County experienced thunderstorms Thursday, the worst of it appeared to occur south of Carlisle beginning about 10 p.m. County fire departments were dispatched to 14 incidents between 10 and 11 p.m. in Mount Holly Springs, South Middleton Township and Dickinson Township, according to dispatch logs provided by the county Department of Public Safety.
The South Middleton Township Facebook page mentioned a "devastatingly large amount of tree damage" for the township from the storm. South Middleton Township also posted on its Facebook page Friday morning that its composting facility would be open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to handle tree limbs and tree debris from township residents.
South Middleton Township Supervisor Tom Faley said there were power lines down and 40-50 trees down on roads in the township. Public works crews are still working to reopen some of the roads, he said.
"I don't remember us having a workload like that in a long time," Faley said.
The winds also bent three stop signs in the township, he said.
"It's been several years since we had winds that bad," he said.
Township Manager Cory Adams said there were also phone lines out in many areas of the township. The township said on its Facebook page that the phones at the township office have been out since 5:30 a.m. Friday.
Met-Ed trucks converged on Mount Holly Springs Friday morning in an effort to repair lines. Tree limbs — and some trees — were scattered across lawns and driveways in the Mount Holly Springs area. That included debris from a large tree that fell over Route 34 Thursday night near the Holly Inn. The roadway was open for traffic Friday morning.
Day said Met-Ed has restored power to the portion of the borough north of the Hill Street, but is still working on the southern part of the borough.
Road crews had managed to clear fallen trees to reopen all roads in the borough by Friday morning.
"We had quite a few (power) lines down on the roadway, trees down. It was quite a mess," Day said.
If you could sum up 2018 in central Pennsylvania in one word, it would probably be “wet.”
As of 11 a.m. Friday, the outages remaining in southern Cumberland County according to Met-Ed's website included:
- Several hundred people in the borough of Mount Holly Springs.
- Between 21 and 100 people in Dickinson Township directly west of Mount Holly Springs.
- Between 21 and 100 people directly east of Mount Holly Springs in the area of Red Tank Road.
The website indicates it could take until noon on Saturday to restore power to all of the affected customers.
There are also power outages in the Dillsburg area, according to the website.
Most people in the rest of Cumberland County appeared to have electricity as of Friday morning, according to Met-Ed and PPL outage maps.
Daniel Walmer covers public safety for The Sentinel. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 717-218-0021.
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