AKRON, Ohio, April 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As a large spring storm intensifies along the East Coast, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities Cleveland Electric Illuminating, Ohio Edison, Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power, West Penn Power, Jersey Central Power & Light, Mon Power and Potomac Edison are mobilizing employees and resources to restore customers should the storm disrupt customers' electric service headed into the work week.
While some light snowfall is expected in the east, the majority of the precipitation is expected in western portions of the company's service area. Monday's expected wet snow and high winds have the potential to cause damage to the electrical system, especially since many trees already have leaves due to an unseasonably warm spring. Heavily weighted branches, limbs and entire trees may fall, taking down power lines and snapping utility poles. FirstEnergy meteorologists continue to monitor weather conditions.
Steps being taken to prepare for the anticipated severe weather include:
- Preparing to mobilize employees and resources to assist in storm restoration activities in the hardest-hit areas
- Securing additional outside utility crews and tree contractors to assist with the outage restoration process as needed
- Arranging for the activation of staging areas for crews and equipment in locations expected to be impacted by the storm based on current predictions and modeling
- Communicating with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators and the media about our storm preparation efforts
For updated information on the company's preparation efforts for this spring snowstorm, current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, go to www.firstenergycorp.com. The website has been optimized for access with smart phones and other mobile devices.
In a large-scale weather event, FirstEnergy urges all customers to follow the advice and recommendations of emergency management officials. The company also offers the following tips if customers experience an outage:
Reporting an Outage
- If your lights go out, contact your local electric utility to report an outage by calling the automated reporting line at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).
- Immediately report downed wires to your electric company or local police or fire department. Never go near a downed power line, even if you think it's no longer carrying electricity.
- Don't try to remove trees or tree limbs from power lines. Wait for utility crews to arrive.
Safety Tips During Outages
- Keep flashlights and fresh batteries in your home. Avoid using candles to light your home, especially around children and pets.
- Never use a gas stove, charcoal grill or lantern intended for outdoor use inside your home.
- Make sure you have fresh batteries in a portable radio so you can stay tuned to your local radio station for updates on our progress to restore power.
- 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, always disconnect the power coming into your home. Otherwise, power from your generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
Cleveland Electric Illuminating serves 747,000 customers in northeastern Ohio; Ohio Edison serves more than 1 million customers in central and northeastern Ohio; Met-Ed serves 540,000 customers in Pennsylvania; Penelec serves 590,000 customers in Pennsylvania; Penn Power serves 161,000 customers in Pennsylvania; West Penn Power serves nearly 720,000 customers in Pennsylvania; Jersey Central Power & Light serves 1.1 million customers in New Jersey; Mon Power serves nearly 390,000 customers in West Virginia; Potomac Edison serves approximately 250,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 135,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies comprise one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems. Its diverse generating fleet features non-emitting nuclear, scrubbed baseload coal, natural gas, and pumped-storage hydro and other renewables, and has a total generating capacity of nearly 23,000 megawatts.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.