Nearly 11,000 lose power in Altoona, Logan Township

Restaurants and retailers along Plank Road closed temporarily on Saturday during a power outage that struck just before noon, affecting 11,000 customers in Altoona, Logan Township and nearby areas.

State and municipal police officers, along with local volunteer firefighters, spent the early-afternoon hours directing traffic at multiple intersections along Plank Road between Logan Boulevard and the Plank Road Commons shopping plaza that houses Walmart. The outage also stretched toward Frankstown Road and knocked out traffic lights at the Amelia Lane intersection.

Some of the officers and volunteers directing traffic donned rain gear to handle the task while intermittent storms passed.

Scott Surgeoner of FirstEnergy Corp., parent company to Penelec, said Saturday that the outage occurred at 11:56 a.m. when a transmission line malfunctioned.

Surgeoner said he didn’t know if weather was to blame for the mishap and that the cause would be investigated. Because the company was able to rely on another substation, electric service for many customers was restored within the first half hour, he said.

For about 2,500 customers, including ones along Plank Road, their outage lasted until 2:30 or

3 p.m.

While some restaurants and retailers along Plank Road sent their staffs home and locked the doors, other employees could be seen outside their work sites, waiting for power to be restored.