Thousands of Crawford County residents have been left without power since Saturday night.

Crawford County 911 said that sustained gusts of heavy wind are to blame, leaving over 20,000 residents left in the dark.

Meadville in particular, has seen major outages all throughout the city.

The power will be returning in waves throughout the county, but officials estimate that the outage won’t be fixed entirely for another two to three days.

As storms raged throughout the region Saturday night, severe winds did significant damage to utilities throughout Crawford County. Which the Department of Public Safety said is leaving more than 20,000 without electricity.

One of the areas most impacted being the City of Meadville.

“The vast majority of the city has been without power since probably around 9:15 pm., 9:30. Some folks earlier than that,” said Maryann Menanno, Meadville city manager. “Basically, all of downtown Meadville is without power at this point, so all of the restaurants, shops, none of them have power.”

The outage has caused all city stop lights to be out, causing some traffic jams and danger for travelers on the roads.

“Use every intersection as a four-way stop. Take your turn, do not just drive through and we can keep the accidents down hopefully to a minimum,” Patrick Wiley, fire chief for the City of Meadville.

But Meadville isn’t the only community left in the dark, as other municipalities have been impacted by the storms.

“They’ve had a lot of trees and wires down in throughout the city and of course throughout Crawford County itself. Both our department and all of the volunteers around have been steady in answering these calls,” Chief Wiley went on to say.

The emergency management coordinator with the Crawford County Department of Public Safety said that power will slowly be restored throughout the county as repairs occur.

In times of emergency, it’s key to have a plan in place. That includes nursing homes, businesses and people that rely on things like oxygen to survive.

“Those that might need oxygen should have contacts for backup oxygen, make sure that you have food water and supplies. If you’re ok and your electric is out, that you’ll be able to shelter in place until the electric comes back on,” said Allen Clark, emergency management coordinator for the Crawford County Department of Public Safety.

The Crawford County Department of Public Safety is asking that people not call 9-1-1 to inquire about estimated time to restore power, but rather call FirstEnergy (Penelec) at 1-888-544-4877 or Northwestern REC at 800-352-0014 option 1 depending on their provider. Penelec customers can also view a live outage map for the area here.

Meadville is also setting up a warming center at the Active Aging facility on 1034 Park Avenue and the Linesville Volunteer Fire Department located at 200 Penn Street while issues persist.