Severe winter weather causes power outages, propane and salt shortages, potholes

About 168,000 people in Pennsylvania and Maryland are still without electricity, three long days and nights after an ice storm downed countless trees and power lines. That number is down from the 715,000 that were without power at the height of the storm.

The local utility insists that they can have most of the power restored today, but for some residents in the hard hit areas, they could be without power until early next week.

Three thousand utility workers from as far away as Arkansas have come into the area to try to get Pennsylvania back on line. This week's ice storm toppled trees and power lines, leaving a quarter of a million people in the dark, which is the most since Hurricane Sandy. 

Bill Mangan is losing money each day his restaurant remains closed.  He estimates the outages have cost him tens of thousands of dollars in losses so far.

“We’ve had power outages due to thunderstorms, even local construction, but nothing lasting, going on three days now,” he said.

 

 Elsewhere, this winter's brutal back-to-back punches are causing other problems. Propane gas shortages in the Midwest, depleted supplies of salt and sand in the South and in the Northeast, there are thousands of potholes - New York City has filled 65,000 this winter. 

In nearby Hoboken, N. J., city supervisor Wally Wolfe's road crews are racing to fill more that 100 potholes each day. He told CBS News’ Terrell Brown that their fixes are only short-term.

“This is a temporary patch that will last a couple weeks and we'll be back out again,” said Wolfe.

However, in order to fix the potholes it has to be warm outside and there is still more cold weather and snow in the forecast.

To see Terrell Brown’s full report, watch the video in the player above

  • Shoshana Davis

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