FirstEnergy Utilities Preparing for Winter Storm

Ohio and Higher Elevations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia Have Potential for Greatest Impact

Dec 20, 2012, 17:04 ET from FirstEnergy Corp.

AKRON, Ohio, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) is preparing for the possible impact of high winds and snow predicted to hit parts of its utilities' service territory beginning tonight and continuing through Saturday.  While all areas of its six-state service territory could see some impact, current forecasts predict that the most severe weather will occur in the Toledo Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI), and Ohio Edison areas in Ohio and in the higher elevations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

As a result of the weather forecasts, which include the possibility of sustained winds in excess of 50 mph, FirstEnergy utilities have implemented the company's storm preparation process, including notifying employees to be on standby, contacting contractor crews for possible deployment, assessing the need for staging sites, and addressing employee schedule coordination.  As part of this process, FirstEnergy crews and support personnel will remain in their respective service areas until the full impact of the potential weather event is known.

"We are keeping a close eye on the weather and will be ready to respond immediately to assist our customers should sustained high winds cause any problems," said Mark Julian, vice president, Utility Operations, FirstEnergy.  "FirstEnergy utility companies have addressed the challenges of severe winter weather for more than 100 years and our utility crews and support staff are highly trained to operate in all weather conditions."

Company personnel have participated in conference calls with the mutual assistance groups including the Great Lakes Mutual Assistance and the Southeast Exchange to discuss the possibility of securing outside utility crews should large-scale outages occur.  Like FirstEnergy, most utilities in the region are anticipating severe weather and are keeping their crews at home until the full impact of the storm is assessed.

FirstEnergy customer call centers will be fully staffed.  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 via a mobile device. 

In the event of severe weather, customers should immediately report downed wires to their electric company or local police or fire department.  Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity.

For updated information on the company's storm preparation efforts, current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at  The operating companies also will provide updates via Twitter:

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 more than 20,000 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.