CLEVELAND, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI) personnel are working to restore service to nearly 50,000 customers in northeast Ohio affected by the early season snow squalls that impacted the region late last night and early this morning. An additional 150 crews from FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison, Penelec and West Penn Power are expected to arrive in the hardest hit areas throughout the day to assist with the restoration process.
The weight of the "lake effect" snow – combined with leaves still being on the trees – has resulted in numerous tree limbs and branches falling into CEI equipment and wires, causing service interruptions. The hardest hit areas are Cuyahoga and Geauga counties.
The majority of customers currently without power are expected to be restored by Friday, if not sooner, based on current weather conditions. The priority for restoration starts with emergency services, including hospitals, police, and fire. Repairs are scheduled based on restoring the most people the fastest. In areas with severe damage, it may require repairs in multiple locations to restore power to one location.
Customers are encouraged to be safe around downed power lines:
- Keep children and pets away from any wires.
- Customers should immediately report downed wires to CEI or local police or fire departments. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it's no longer carrying electricity.
- Don't walk or drive near or over a downed line, and watch out for anything touching the line. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay inside until help arrives.
Customers who see downed wires or are without power should call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com. FirstEnergy customer call centers are fully staffed.
For updated information on current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages. CEI customers also can find the latest outage information via Twitter @IlluminatingCo.
CEI customers also can utilize a new free smartphone app to report outages and access important information and services related to their electric accounts. The app is available for Apple® iPhone® and Android™ smartphones. Customers can use the keyword "FirstEnergy" to locate the apps in the online store.
CEI serves more than 740,000 customers in 9 Ohio counties.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company 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 Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. Its generation subsidiaries control approximately 18,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.