FirstEnergy Utilities Preparing for Winter Storm Expected to Hit Eastern U.S. on Friday

Company Meteorologists Closely Monitoring Weather Conditions to Help Ensure Resources Are Deployed to Hardest Hit Areas

Jan 21, 2016, 14:15 ET from FirstEnergy Corp.

AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) personnel are prepared to respond when the heavy snow and high winds associated with an expected large winter storm impact the eastern part of the country beginning Friday. 

Based on current forecasts, Mon Power in West Virginia, Potomac Edison in Maryland and West Virginia, Metropolitan Edison in eastern Pennsylvania, and Jersey Central Power & Light in New Jersey are expected to be the most affected by the event.

Company meteorologists are closely monitoring the weather system, which could produce up to two feet of snow in parts of West Virginia and Maryland, and more than a foot of snow in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, along with wind gusts up to 40 mph. 

FirstEnergy's utilities are making plans to staff additional dispatchers and analysts at regional dispatch offices, and are making arrangements to bring in additional line, substation and forestry personnel, as needed, based on the severity of the weather.  In addition, equipment and vehicles are being checked to make sure they are ready to operate in heavy snow conditions.

"The ultimate goal of our pre-planning efforts is to help speed the restoration process and minimize any inconvenience our customers experience due to severe winter weather," said Mark Julian, vice president, Utility Operations, FirstEnergy.  "Once we know the extent of any storm damage, we can deploy additional crews and resources from our less affected utilities to areas that were hit the hardest."

Electrical contractors also have been notified they could be required to assist with storm restoration efforts over the next several days.  In addition, the company has been in contact with several utility mutual assistance organizations to determine if crews from other utilities would be available to assist, if needed.

Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity.  Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris.  Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.

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.  In the event of severe weather, customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. 

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.  Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts.  More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.

FirstEnergy utilities include: Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), and West Penn Power in Pennsylvania; Mon Power in West Virginia; Potomac Edison in Maryland; and Jersey Central Power & Light in New Jersey.

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 Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. 

Connect with the companies online at www.firstenergycorp.com, on Twitter at @OhioEdison, @IlluminatingCo, @ToledoEdison, @Met_Ed@Penelec, @Penn_Power, @W_Penn_Power, @JCP_L, @MonPowerWV, or @PotomacEdison, or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/OhioEdison, www.Facebook.com/ToledoEdison, www.Facebook.com/IlluminatingCo, www.Facebook.com/MetEdElectric, www.Facebook.com/PenelecElectric, www.Facebook.com/PennPower, www.Facebook.com/WestPennPower, www.Facebook.com/JCPandL.

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.



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