Lights Out In Popular Peckville Park

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PECKVILLE -- People who use a popular park in Lackawanna County are still suffering the effects of an intense thunderstorm nearly two weeks ago.

A bolt of lightning knocked out power at the park in Peckville. Police say it's not safe at night, so they're making some changes.

Since that storm almost two weeks ago, workers have been cleaning up the mess that lightning bolt left at the Blakely Peckville Recreational Complex.

The storm blew out electricity leaving the complex without exterior lightning all that time, so police and borough officials have decided to adjust the park's hours.

On this sunny and mild fall day, the Blakely Peckville Recreational Complex in Peckville was busy with people enjoying the weather or just getting some exercise.

Those folks say this time of year the park gets even busier come nightfall and lots of outdoor lighting keeps it bright. But now the park's off limits once the sun goes down. It's a decision police made since workers are still cleaning up from a storm two weeks ago.

"It was all over Facebook so if it's on Facebook it's true," said Jackie Flynn of Peckville.

"It's getting dark pretty early, and you don't have a lot of time, you know? People getting out of work and that," said Joe Healey of Olyphant.

Healey's grandson has a lot of energy so Healey brings him there twice a day. Now he'll have to adjust his plans because the typically well-lit park will close at dusk for the time being.

Nearly two weeks ago a lightning bolt hit a transformer, sent electricity through the ground, and caught the park's concession stand on fire. Workers are still trying to get the lights back on.

The lightning strike spared the soccer field. The lights there still work. The problem is that the walking trail and the entire rest of the park has no lighting. That's what worried police.

"Because with no lights, it is pitch black in half of the park, so we just don't want anybody tripping, falling, getting hurt. It's just a safety concern," said Blakely Police Chief Guy Salerno.

The Blakely police chief says since the days are getting shorter, his officers noticed more people in park after dark and since it looks like it might be a while until power is restored, he says the trail, basketball courts, baseball field, and tennis courts are off limits after dusk.

"There's a lot of softball games and basketball games that the kids play so that might impact them. It might be bad for the parents but they'll survive."

Crews were out at the Blakely Peckville Recreational Complex Tuesday making repairs to the burned concession stand. Once that's done they can work on restoring power. There is no word on how long that may take.