School Closings And Delays

Blimp Down in Montour County

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ANTHONY TOWNSHIP -- State police confirm the runaway blimp that floated over our area came down before 4 p.m. in Montour County.

The Department of Defense, through NORAD, reported around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday that the blimp got loose from Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, and that it drifted over Pennsylvania.

We received reports of the blimp overhead in Columbia County and then of it coming down in Montour County.

It landed in Anthony Township, Montour County, not far from Muncy.

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, state police, and the National Guard worked with Montour, Columbia, Schuylkill, and Lycoming Counties, along with federal agencies to track the blimp.

The blimp is a key part of domestic air defense. It's part of a surveillance system designed to detect cruise missiles, rockets, drones, and other weapons that could be used to attack key targets in the United States.

The company that designed the blimp, Raytheon, posted these videos on YouTube explaining its purpose and capabilities.

PPL Electric said the blimp caused power outages affecting more that 20,000 homes and businesses.

Columbia County EMA officials said the blimp was dragging its tether line and that caused the power outages.

People rushed out to Muncy Exchange Road, overcome with excitement to see the NORAD blimp they'd been tracking all day after it landed in this wooded area near Muncy.

"I was following it because my son is at Bloomsburg University, I saw it was in Bloomsburg and I was calling him, 'What's going on? Go see it.' He was like, 'We lost power, mom.' And then my mom's calling me going, 'It landed on your road!' So I turned to WNEP and woke him up so he could see," Donna Armstrong of Muncy said.

State police and other officials had the roads around the area blocked off, not allowing anyone near the blimp due to highly sensitive materials on it.

Melaine Knox snapped off some pictures of the blimp shortly before it touched down.

It's crazy. I didn't know what was going on. We lost our power where I live and somebody sent me a Facebook message when I posted on there we lost our power that this was what was going on. I had to go out and find it," said Knox.

"We've had two or three hot air balloons land close to here but nothing resembling this. Quite a bit of hubbub for this area, we're out in the sticks and not too much happens like this," said one neighbor.

"My friend who lives in Bloomsburg who I was talking to, he said he saw it in Bloomsburg and he was without power and he just called me and said, 'It's past the Jerseytown area and it's now in the Turbotville area,' and I said, 'OK, I'm headed that way,'" said another neighbor.

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