FirstEnergy Utilities Restore Power to 282,000 Customers Affected by Hurricane Irene; Restoration Activities in Progress for 556,000 Additional Customers

Aug 28, 2011, 19:51 ET from FirstEnergy Corp.

AKRON, Ohio, Aug. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Electrical service to more than 282,000 FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland has been restored following Hurricane Irene. Crews continue working to restore service to another 556,000 customers who remain without power as a result of the storm, primarily in areas served by Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) and Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), the FirstEnergy utilities most affected by the hurricane. In areas with extensive flooding and wind-related damage, restoration is expected to continue throughout the week.

More than 4,000 employees, including lineworkers, damage assessors, hazard responders, and forestry crews from FirstEnergy Corp. utilities, are assisting with storm response. JCP&L and Met-Ed workers have been joined by additional personnel from other FirstEnergy utilities, including Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), Pennsylvania Power, Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, West Penn Power and Mon Power, to efficiently and safely restore service to storm-impacted customers. While crews are making progress, debris from downed trees and limbs and areas of heavy flooding are hampering restoration efforts.

Throughout the storm restoration process, company representatives will be working closely with local, state and federal emergency management officials and state utility regulators.

JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in 13 New Jersey counties, and Met-Ed serves 560,000 customers in 13 Pennsylvania counties. Other FirstEnergy utilities impacted by Hurricane Irene include Penelec, which serves 600,000 customers in 31 Pennsylvania counties, and Potomac Edison, which serves approximately 250,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 135,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Service to Penelec and Potomac Edison customers affected by the storm has largely been restored.

FirstEnergy customer call centers are fully staffed with more than 650 representatives to take customer calls. JCP&L and Met-Ed customers should call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), or 1-800-545-7738.

As debris from the storm is being cleared, customers are cautioned never to touch downed lines.  Customers should always assume downed wires are carrying electricity and are reminded to keep their children and pets away from downed wires.  Customers should never try to remove trees or limbs from power lines because they could conduct electricity.  They should wait for emergency services or utility crews to arrive.

Tips for customers without power:

  • Call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report your outage – it's the fastest way to begin the restoration process.
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer.  A full freezer can keep food frozen for up to three days if it's kept closed.
  • Keep flashlights with fresh batteries in your home.  
  • Unplug major appliances until after the power has been restored.  Keep one light connected so you will know when the power is back on.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Burning candles should never be left unattended in a house.
  • Gasoline-powered generators should never be operated inside a home or attached garage.
  • 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.  

For updated information on hurricane restoration news, current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe after a storm, go to www.firstenergycorp.com

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence.  Its 10 electric distribution companies comprise the nation's largest investor-owned electric system.  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 approximately 23,000 megawatts.

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.



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