Clean Up Continues from Deadly Storms
July 18, 2006 -- The thunderstorm turned deadly at a group home near Coatesville. A worker apparently ran out of the house to put the windows up on one of the vehicles. That was a fatal mistake.
Two trees fell. The second tree crushed a woman, moments before she could get back inside of the home. She was identified as 57-year-old Barbara Cooper of Coatesville.
A second person was killed in South Coatesville. 73-year-old Joan Graf, visiting the area from Charleston, South Carolina, lost her life when a tree fell onto her car.
A 70-year-old woman suffered serious injuries in West Caln Township when a tree fell on her leg. She was rushed to Lancaster County General Hospita, where the leg was amputated.
Falling trees also took down power lines, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of people. PECO Energy says this is one of the company's top 5 outages of all time.
As of Wednesday evening, 219-thousand customers were still without electric service.
That's down from the peak of 365-thousand customers.
The problems are mostly in the suburbs of Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Delaware Counties.
Recovery efforts are just starting, and many face daunting tasks. As Action News cameras rolled, part of a home in Ambler crumbled while workers removed a large chunk of a fallen tree.
A woman was injured in Ambler on Tuesday night when the storms brought down a tree, which fell onto a house in the 100 block of Walnut Lane.
They have declared a state of emergency in Middletown Township, Bucks County.
Township officials say downed trees have made it difficult to navigate some roads.
There are also significant power problems in Middletown.
Residents who need a place to go can seek shelter at the St. Mary Medical Center.
With the power out for many, and freezers and refrigerators not working, food safety becomes a big concern.
Bacteria can begin growing in 4 hours, even without opening the refrigerator.
Only a few things will keep, such as butter and margarine, fresh fruits and vegetables, and unopened salad dressings and condiments.
As for freezers, a full one can stay cold up to two days.
A half-full one will stay frozen up to one day.
If a food is in doubt, throw it out. Never taste it to check.
In West Norriton Township, local officials were distributing dry ice to residents still without power.
The ice was provided by Montgomery County Emergency Management, and it was all gone by about 2:30
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