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Christmas Decorating Delayed by Superstorm Sandy

City employees ordinarily tasked with decorating city streets for the holidays had to be diverted for weeks after the storm. Decorations should be fully deployed by the end of the week.

 

Blame it on Sandy.

Bethlehem’s municipal holiday decorations have not been fully deployed throughout The Christmas City and the city’s Department of Public Works says the hurricane/superstorm that barreled through the Northeast in late October is to blame.

In a Facebook post Monday, the city officials said the effects of the superstorm delayed decoration but, weather permitting, the work should be completed on Friday, about two weeks later than the scheduled Nov. 23 turn-on date.

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Resources from the Public Works department, including the city’s electrical bureau, had to be diverted to repairing streetlights, traffic lights and other storm recovery duties that made for “a major setback in our decoration effort,” the Facebook post said.

Further complicating things was “substantial damage” to some of the decorations that had already been completed.

Still, the Electrical Bureau was able to complete its decorating tasks for core areas of the city – including Payrow Plaza and the city’s two downtowns – in time for Black Friday.

Once Christmas decorations are complete, there are other storm recovery tasks that remain for Public Works and Electrical Bureau employees, city officials reported.

“There are dozens of streetlight fixtures that were damaged or broken that will need to be reinstalled or replaced to restore the system back to the condition prior to the storm,” the Facebook post said.

“You also may have noticed the traffic signals missing visors and twisted heads throughout the City. These will also need to be repaired after the decorations are completed. Only the broken signal heads hanging by the wires were replaced to make the streets safe directly after the storm.”

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