Commissioner: We dodged a bullet - abc27 WHTM

Commissioner: We dodged a bullet

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For more than 12 hours, Steve Albright's family was in the dark.

It all started, he said, after Hurricane Sandy provided a light show Monday afternoon.

"We seen a big flash and I guess that's when all the poles fell over," said Albright. "It's like four of 'em."

Across from Albright's home in Lower Paxton Township, several power poles leaned along Route 22 as crews from around the country worked to restore electricity.

Albright's landlord dropped off a generator early Tuesday morning. To help out, Albright ran a bright orange extension cord to his neighbor's home. The temporary power fix helped liven the living room, yet calm the kids.

"It's a lot better," said Albright. "The kids are a lot calmer watching TV. Before, everybody was picking on each other, you know, typical kids."

At the highest peak, more than 8,000 Dauphin County residents were without electricity. Fallen trees and downed power lines were to blame, but county commissioner Mike Pries noted damage was scarce and scattered.

"We dodged a bullet," he said.

County commissioners said all county emergency management and first responders were prepared for the worst. They said experience from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee last year helped prevent mistakes with Hurricane Sandy this year.

"We learned a lot from that storm," said Pries. "Emergency responders met several days in advance of this storm. They were ready to go and it showed."

Commissioners agreed it was better to be safe than sorry, and commissioner Jeff Haste credited media outlets for a steady flow of cautionary information.

"[Thank] you in the media, particularly," Haste said. "I think of the reasons why we are able to stand here and say we did dodge a bullet is because I do think we were prepared. I do think our residents headed your warnings. It helped us get through this situation a lot better."

Haste also warned residents of scam artists. In the aftermath of a storm like Sandy, he urged residents to look out for repairmen without proper company credentials.

Residents can report suspected scams by calling 1-866-SAFE-111.

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