SAINT CLAIR — In Schuylkill County, the power is still out for the entire borough of Saint Clair.
Wednesday night, emergency workers turned their fire house into a temporary shelter, providing residents with food and a warm place to stay.
An ambulance made its way around a darkened Saint Clair Wednesday night, alerting residents of a place to stay as power is out in the borough.
“Due to the power outage,” blasted a voice from a megaphone. “The fire company is now open as a shelter. They have hot food, heat and will accommodate sleeping arrangements.”
That’s how neighbors Robert Keip and Joe Rady learned there were hot meals at the East Norwegian Fire Company.
“They were on their microphone letting people know in the community to come to this location, which was very thoughtful of them and I’m grateful,” said Keip.
“Yeah, we got something to eat because we have no stoves or anything like that and we were hungry,” said Rady.
As PPL crews work to restore power, people are doing what they can to get by.
At Tommy’s M & S Lunch, they have a gas stove, generators to keep beverages cold, and full menu service with a little colonial flair thrown in as they are serving people by candlelight.
“We have cold beer, we have ice available, we have water, bread, eggs, all the essentials that everybody runs to the supermarket for, also we have halupkis on sale to be honest,” laughed clerk Anthony Koles. “Egg sandwiches, breakfast stuff, simple things.”
And those places are much needed with bigger stores, such as Dunkin Donuts and Walmart left in the dark at Coal Creek plaza on Route 61.
Nina Bindie was surprised when she stopped for something sweet.
“Grab a donut and go back home and not even realizing that it was closed,” said Bindie. “It’s so weird because it’s always so busy here.”
Still in that same plaza, Home Depot is running on back-up generators and they want people to know they are open for business.
“They’re not sure anyone’s open since the businesses in front of us are not, so when they’re pulling into the parking lot, they’re very excited that we’re here,” said manager Julia Stokes.
Borough officials said that due to the power outage, there will be beefed up police patrols throughout the night by both Saint Clair police and state police.