Attention Residents of West Chester: Did you know that the Borough of West Chester offers a system in order to contact residents with important information relating to weather situations and other emergencies? With the recent winter weather conditions that our area has been experiencing it’s very beneficial to join to ensure you and your family’s safety. You can add or update your current information by clicking here. For more information visit the Borough of West Chester official website, www.west-chester.com.
Some residents remain without power after Saturday’s storm and are reminded that, for future storms, personal preparedness is crucial. “The first thing we do is we urge everybody to be prepared, to take personal preparedness seriously,” said Robert Kagel, spokesman for the county’s Emergency Services Department. “Be sure to think about the things you need every single day of your life and know where they are so you can gather them quickly and be prepared.” Kagel said heavy clothing and winter blankets ought to be added to personal emergency kits should any kind of emergency arise during the winter season.
The emergency services department coordinates with hospitals, dialysis center providers, schools and home health care agencies, so that each one has a plan in the face of extreme weather, such as snowstorms, and that each has a generator and is well-staffed. “We’re ready for whatever Mother Nature is going to throw at us,” said Kagel. Kagel said the department will be prepared and is in close contact with the National Weather Service and commercial weather systems, although predictions about this winter season’s snowfall have yet to be made. “There’s nothing that’s pointing to being above or below normal (yet), so it’s tough to say what we’re going to see this winter,” said Jason Krekeler, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in central Pennsylvania.
Image by matthewvenn via Flickr
Nearly four hours after a trailer filled with hydrogen exploded at a chemical plant, officials said the situation has been cleared and evacuated residents were able to return to their homes. Chester County Department of Emergency Services announced at 2:15 p.m. that emergency responders cleared the scene at Johnson Matthey Chemical Products in the 1400 block of King Road and area residents could return to their homes. Emergency responders were dispatched about 10:30 a.m. after a trailer with hydrogen exploded causing a fire at the chemical plant where one employee suffered minor injuries, officials said.
Chester County fire marshals are investigating the incident that caused roughly $200,000 in damage to the tank car with minor damage to the exterior of the building. Pennsylvania state police and West Whiteland fire marshals are assisting the investigation. Initially, Johnson Matthey employees had been evacuated from the business’s buildings. Shortly after noon authorities notified residents and businesses about an evacuation via an automated phone system, police said. The evacuation area included King Road, Ravine Road, Glen Loch Way and Lewis Lane. West Whiteland Fire Chief Norm Shirk said after the incident that in this Hazmat situation crews had to essentially allow the chemical to burn. Fighting the fire with water could have released unhealthy levels of chemicals into the air creating a more drastic situation, Shirk said. Contrary to reports by at least one Philadelphia area TV station, the entire county was not ordered to evacuate. Chester County Emergency Services spokeswoman Patty Mains said at least one news TV station misreported the extent of the evacuation in an emergency broadcast alert. For more information you can read the full article at dailylocal.com