Catasauqua Press

Thursday, November 21, 2019
Dave Coy and his neighbors Michelle and Cole Schiffer, residents of Bridge Street in Catasauqua, say their homes smelled like burned wires after a storm Aug. 18 caused a power surge in their neighborbood. Coy coordinated the electrical repairs with Diefenderfer Electrical Contractors for all 10 houses affected. Dave Coy and his neighbors Michelle and Cole Schiffer, residents of Bridge Street in Catasauqua, say their homes smelled like burned wires after a storm Aug. 18 caused a power surge in their neighborbood. Coy coordinated the electrical repairs with Diefenderfer Electrical Contractors for all 10 houses affected.
PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL CMILRay and Marilyn Filozof welcome Diefenderfer electricians for a home check. PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL CMILRay and Marilyn Filozof welcome Diefenderfer electricians for a home check.
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILThis pole-mounted transformer blew after the Aug. 18 storm, knocking out power to 10 homes on Bridge Street. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMILThis pole-mounted transformer blew after the Aug. 18 storm, knocking out power to 10 homes on Bridge Street.

Storm takes out power on Bridge St.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Transformer blows, brings burned odor into homes

Shortly after storms rolled through the area Aug. 18, Catasauqua residents in the middle of Bridge Street experienced a power surge that caused breakers to trip. With lights and power at a standstill, Dave Coy, the neighborhood’s unofficial leader, called a quick meeting of his neighbors.

“We decided to get one electrician to look at all our houses. I called Diefenderfer based on a recommendation,” he said. “They told me they would be out first thing in the morning with three two-man crews,” he said.

The quick action by Coy and his neighbors had electricians looking over houses first thing the following morning.

“All the houses had that burned electrical smell,” resident Michelle Schiffer said.

The best guess is that the equipment allowed a 220-volt surge that burned a few circuit breakers.

“We had some damage to the surge protectors, but that is what they are supposed to do,” Shiffer said.

One constant is the positive comments from each resident about the response from the fire department.

“They had everyone out here to check each of our houses several times to make sure there was no smoldering fire. All of our houses smelled bad from the burned wires,” Jane Coy said.

PPL responded quickly to the outage.

The next step was for the 10 families affected by the outage to have their homes inspected. Once the all-clear was given, PPL would install the new transformer. Power would get turned on to the homes that did not have damaged wiring and were considered safe. Any damaged homes would have the meters removed until they could be repaired.

“The great thing here is that all the neighbors are very cooperative. Everything is going along as quickly as possible to get the power restored,” said Councilman Brian McKittrick, who was on the scene.

By the evening of Aug. 19, all homes were inspected and declared safe. At least one will require a new panel box.

Borough Manager Stephen Travers ordered a portable light trailer to keep the street lit on at night. Most homeowners are staying in their homes. PPL was expected to restore service Aug. 20.