Downtown Power Expected to Return Late Monday

Downtown Power Expected to Return Late Monday
PECO trucks were lined up Monday at 3 p.m. on the north side of East High Street

POTTSTOWN PA – PECO Energy said it expected to finish repairs to explosion-and-fire-damaged equipment in tunnels beneath downtown Pottstown streets, and restore electrical power for about 50 borough customers still without power, by Monday night (March 22, 2021) at 10 p.m., according to the utility company’s outage status map.

A fleet of PECO trucks and trailers, and an accompanying small army of workers, filled portions of East High Street between Charlotte and York streets (above and below) during most of Monday, as teams grappled with cables and machinery affected by reported underground transformer explosions that occurred the previous Friday (March 19, 2021).

That section of East High was closed to traffic Friday through Monday, and detours sent drivers around affected blocks.

Downtown Power Expected to Return Late Monday
Yellow “caution” tape kept Monday afternoon walkers on East High Street away from potential hazards as crews worked

The blast zone seemed to be centered (above) at the northwest corner of East High and Hanover streets. An reported explosion there sent a manhole cover flying skyward, shattered nearby windows, and prompted the borough to issue a shelter-in-place order to some residents. No one was injured, but several residents were later temporarily evacuated. Scores of area firefighters were rushed to the scene as a precaution.

Parts of East High and Hanover remained closed during the weekend as PECO employees and contractors identified and addressed problems. The utility earlier told borough officials it hoped to have the streets open by Sunday (March 21), but the work to be completed apparently was more extensive than anticipated.

As of Monday at 9 p.m., PECO’s outage map predicted power would return later that night to :

  • 38 customers in the area of East High and Hanover, without electricity because of a “transformer problem;” and
  • 12 customers in the area of East High and Penn streets, similarly affected due to an “underground cable problem.”

The company has not yet explained what caused the incident.

Photos by The Post