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FirstEnergy Crews Continue to Make Repairs Following Windstorms

·6 min read

AKRON, Ohio, Nov. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp.'s (NYSE: FE) utilities have restored service to more than 371,000 customers who lost power after windstorms swept through the company's entire service area Sunday. Crews are working around the clock to assess damage and restore service to approximately 72,000 customers who remain without power in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey.

FirstEnergy Corp. Logo (PRNewsfoto/FirstEnergy Corp.)
FirstEnergy Corp. Logo (PRNewsfoto/FirstEnergy Corp.)

Beginning early Sunday in western Ohio and moving eastward throughout the day, powerful winds between 45-55 mph and gusting up to more than 65 mph brought down tree limbs and caused widespread damage to FirstEnergy's utility poles and equipment.

"The heavy winds caused thousands of instances of downed wires, broken poles and crossarms, and damaged transformers caused by trees and other debris contacting our electrical equipment," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "Though repair work can be slowed by unsafe working conditions and numerous road closures, we will continue to work around the clock to safely make repairs and deploy resources as needed until power to all customers has been restored."

All available company resources are working to restore power across all 10 of the utility's operating companies: The Illuminating Company, Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Penn Power, Penelec, West Penn Power and Met-Ed in Pennsylvania; Mon Power in West Virginia; Potomac Edison in West Virginia and Maryland; and JCP&L in New Jersey. Support personnel from FirstEnergy's corporate offices also are included in the company's contingent.

The companies have coordinated with contractors and electrical industry mutual assistance organizations to secure more than 800 additional resources to assist in the hardest hit areas in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Current outage updates as of 5:00 p.m. today include:

  • Toledo Edison: Approximately 15,400 customers lost power due to the storm, and approximately 500 remain without service. The remaining customers are expected to have power restored by 1:00 p.m. Tuesday.

  • The Illuminating Company: Approximately 96,000 customers lost power due to the storm, and 22,000 remain without service. Based on current outages and damage assessments, approximately 74% of affected customers are expected to have power restored by the end of the day today. Service restoration for the majority of remaining customers is expected by 11:00 p.m. Wednesday.

  • Ohio Edison: Approximately 116,000 customers lost power due to the storm, and 25,000 remain without service. Based on current outages and damage assessments, many customers are expected to have power restored by Wednesday evening; however, the majority of customers in the hardest hit areas are expected to have power restored by 4:00 p.m. Thursday.

  • Penn Power: Approximately 9,000 customers lost power due to the storm, and 1,000 remain without service. Based on current outages and damage assessments, the majority of customers are expected to have power restored by 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

  • Penelec: Approximately 70,000 customers lost power due to the storm, and 14,500 remain without service. Based on current outages and damage assessments, most customers are expected to have power restored by tomorrow evening, with any remaining customers in the hardest hit areas expected to have power restored by 11:30 p.m., Wednesday.

  • West Penn Power: Approximately 50,000 customers lost power due to the storm, and 4,300 remain without service. Based on current outages and damage assessments, the majority of customers are expected to have power restored by 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.

  • Met-Ed: Approximately 36,000 customers lost power due to the storm, and 2,000 remain without service. Based on current outages and damage assessments, the majority of customers are expected to have power restored by 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.

  • Mon Power: Approximately 15,500 customers lost power due to the storm, and 700 remain without service. Based on current outages and damage assessments, the majority of customers are expected to have power restored by 2:00 p.m. Tuesday.

  • Potomac Edison: Approximately 11,600 customers lost power due to the storm, and 300 remain without service. Based on current outages and damage assessments, the majority of customers are expected to have power restored by 11:00 tonight.

  • JCP&L: Approximately 29,000 customers lost power due to the storm, and 1,200 remain without service. Based on current outages and damage assessments, approximately 99% of impacted customers are expected to have power restored by 11:00 p.m. tonight, with service restoration for the majority of remaining customers expected by 2:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Customer-specific restoration estimates will be updated when available. For updates, please login to your utility account, call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), or visit www.firstenergycorp.com/outages. During severe weather, customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com. Customers should immediately call 911 if they see downed wires. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be exercised in areas where downed wires may be tangled in downed tree branches or other debris.

To safeguard the health and safety of FirstEnergy employees, contractors and the public, please respect social distancing protocols as utility personnel work around the clock to restore all power outages.

Emergency power generators offer an option for customers needing or wanting uninterrupted service. However, to ensure the safety of the home's occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.

For updated information on the company's current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.

FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect. You can also follow FirstEnergy and its utilities on social media here: https://firstenergycorp.com/newsroom/social_media.html

FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.