In the wake of the sweeping power outages, many people throughout our area are relying on generators to power their homes. It may take several days to restore power in many areas of the Lehigh Valley. Please take a moment to refresh yourself with some safety tips so that you and your loved ones remain safe through during these difficult times. (Source: www.fema.gov) Continue reading
Mayor Callahan proud of City employees’ efforts during and after Hurricane Sandy blows though Bethlehem
Destruction and Clean Up update City of Bethlehem 5:30 p.m.
Bethlehem, Pa. (October 30, 2012)
Mayor Callahan commented, “All residents of the City of Bethlehem should be proud of the hard work of City employees during and in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.” He went on, “Our first responders worked tirelessly through remarkably difficult conditions last night and early this morning and the rest of the City Water, Public Works and Parks crews went right to work early this morning to clean up the destruction left behind by Sandy. I really commend their efforts.”
As of 5 p.m. this evening, City Hall remains without power. The 911 center is still operating on back up generator. With no anticipated time for return of power to City Hall, please contact City Hall tomorrow before attempting to stop in and conduct business.
Fire has returned to regular staffing. During the height of the storm last night 40 firefighters were out responding to 130 calls.
The City has responded to 550 calls throughout last night and into today.
Hurricane Sandy knocked down 150 trees that blocked traffic. Today starting at 4 a.m. the City had 5 crews working on cleaning up the destruction caused by Sandy. The City will leave one crew on over night to continue with clean up efforts and will restart a full force clean up effort tomorrow morning with 4 crews. As of 5:00 p.m. this evening, 100 of the 150 trees blocking traffic were cleared, 25 trees cannot be moved without PPL assistance and City crews will work on the additional 25 trees tonight and through tomorrow.
60 out of the 122 traffic signals in the City are without power. The City is using generators to power 5 of the more critical intersections all of them in the Southside area near 5 points, 3rd street and 378. An additional 12 intersections have temporary 4 way stop signs. If you are on the road and come upon an intersection with a traffic signal not working, you must treat that as a four way intersection. Some of the intersections suffered significant damage beyond loss of power, so even if reenergized, additional work is required to get all traffic intersections up and functioning. Please use extreme caution if you must be on the road, with down trees and power lines and non-functioning traffic lights, conditions remain hazardous.
The City water and sanitary sewer facilities are without power. The water system is working on temporary power and we do not anticipate any interruption in service. Until such time that electrical service is restored temporary power will be used.
The Waste Water Treatment Plant is without power as well. PPL has identified the problem at the plant as a significant transmission failure and one of 52 critical high priority facilities needing power. Although restoring power to the Plant is a high priority for PPL there is no anticipated time for restoration as of 5 p.m. The City does not expect any interruption of its sanitary service.
“I can assure you that we will do everything in our power clean up the City and restore City services as soon as possible”, said Mayor Callahan. We will continue to work with PPL to remove trees and downed wires and get our water and waste water facilities operating properly. We ask that you remain patient as everyone tries to clean up after this terrible storm.
10:00 AM Tuesday October 30, 2012
From: Mayor John Callahan
Hurricane Sandy Update
The City of Bethlehem has rescinded its recommended evacuation order issued yesterday morning for flood prone areas. The forecasted rain never materialized and both the Saucon Creek and Monocacy Creek never flooded. According to forecasts for the remainder of the day we do not anticipate flooding in these areas. Obviously, the City will continue to monitor the weather and update residents as necessary.
We appreciate the cooperation of the residents during the storm. Please be sure to stay indoors today unless travel is absolutely necessary. If you do need to travel, please be careful and do not travel around barricades.
City Hall is operating on back-up power since last night. As of 10 a.m., 54 intersections are without power in the City. We have taken steps to repower critical intersections with generators and have placed temporary stop signs at other intersections. There is a significant amount of clean up due to downed through out the City and our crews are out working as hard as they can to restore traffic lights and remove downed trees.
City Hall will be closed for business on Tuesday.
Scheduled emergency services personnel, as well as employees contacted by their Department Heads, Bureau Chiefs, or their designees will report to work.
Recovery, maintenance, and emergency services activities remain a priority.
UPDATE: Stay off the road unless it is an absolute emergency! Getting a gallon of milk is not an emergency. Conditions are very dangerous. Get it?
All motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when driving during Hurricane Sandy. Standing water presents extreme danger to motorists.
Motorists are urged to NEVER drive around barricades that are blocking roadways. Doing so will result in a fine of up to $250, unless emergency personnel are required to respond. In that case, the fines increase to between $250 and $500.
As we begin to experience power failures, please remember to treat all uncontrolled intersections as if they were controlled by a four-way stop sign.
Due to the coming weather conditions, the City of Bethlehem has canceled recycling pick up for Monday and Tuesday 10/29 & 30. The Bethlehem compost and recycling centers are also closed. Stay tuned for further information about a rescheduled pickup.
Due to the current weather forecast, the 2012 City of Bethlehem Halloween Parade, and the Bethlehem Halloween 5k are being re-scheduled for next Sunday, November 4th at the same scheduled times.
We are confident you have heard there is a major storm on its way to our region. The American Red Cross Hurricane Preparedness checklist has some very good suggestions to follow.
Emergency services and City employees will be quite busy when this event occurs. Please take the appropriate measures to prepare for this event by reading the checklist and following their recommendations.
We will be posting more information as the storm approaches.