Hundreds In The Dark on Independence Day In Lackawanna County

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DALTON -- Many people in Lackawanna County started their Independence Day in the dark. Nearly 800 homes and businesses were without power for most of the day following fierce thunderstorms Thursday night.

That forced folks to get creative in order to celebrate the holiday.

Jeff Reed and his family had big plans for the Fourth of July weekend. Not a big barbecue, but a big move into their new house in Dalton. Bad weather foiled those big plans.

"Well, it's not helping them, lets put it like that. You're downstairs in the basement trying to put stuff away and you have no electricity. So, it's a little tough," Reed said.

Downed power lines in Dalton knocked out power for a few hundred homes and businesses in the borough. About 800 buildings were dark throughout Lackawanna County because of the storms.

People in Dalton didn't want to let the power outage affect their fourth of July celebrations. But, instead of the typical noises like fireworks, you heard the hum of generators.

The Smulek family's two generators were fired up to keep their refrigerators cold. When Newswatch 16 met up with them they were only a few hours away from feeding 150 people at their annual party for the Fourth.

"Actually the guys who put our tent up were here at midnight last night to put our tent up, that's how bad they were because they had tents blowing over, they had a tough time too," Joe Smulek said.

Luckily, their main course is cooked with charcoal not electricity.
The chicken barbecue is an almost ten-year tradition for the Smuleks that could hardly be stopped by a power outage.

"Nothing will stop us," Joe added.