Homes, offices and traffic signals went dark this morning in the Norristown area after power was interrupted at a Peco Energy generating station near the Norristown Transportation Center, according to Peco Energy spokesman Michael Wood.
Wood said a total of 8,000 customers were powerless during the 50 minute blackout that began at 8:41 a.m. and extended into East Norriton and Plymouth townships. No injuries were reported.
Crews bypassed the damaged line and switched over to an automated backup to restore power. When interviewed around 10 a.m., the caused of the problem had not been determined.
“Crews cut away the lines and reconfigured the power,” he said. “It was a lot of work in a short period of time.”
Norristown Fire Department chief Tom O’Donnell said firefighters responded to the brick generating station on Schuylkill Avenue and saw a small “brush fire,” he said; however, local fire personnel waited for a Peco emergency crew to respond to the high-voltage facility.
“It’s very dangerous for our firefighters” O’Donnell said. “We stood by until Peco came.”
The chief said a power line had reportedly “dropped and separated and disconnected power.”
O’Donnell said the water plant that serves the area operated on back-up power after the power failure.
Also, elevators in the courthouse and One Montgomery Plaza were powered by emergency generators, and rumors of employees getting trapped were apparently unfounded.
“I hadn’t heard of anyone getting stuck,” said Montgomery County Communications Director John Corcoran.