AKRON, Ohio, April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities are responding to the spring snowstorm moving through portions of its service areas with an efficient and effective storm restoration process designed to return service to the largest number of customers as quickly as possible.
At this time, most of the outages associated with the storm are in western Pennsylvania. As of 1:30 p.m. today, approximately 18,000 customers in the Penelec service area and 5,300 customers served by West Penn Power are experiencing service interruptions due to the storm. In addition, approximately 3,000 customers across the Mon Power and Potomac Edison service territories lost power due to the storm. Additional outages are possible throughout the day as the snowfall and high winds continue.
FirstEnergy is mobilizing crews and support personnel from its utilities in Ohio, eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey and is securing electrical contractors and tree contractors to assist with the restoration process. Overall, more than 500 additional personnel will be available to assist in hardest-hit areas. If needed, FirstEnergy also can secure additional utility crews from various mutual assistance organizations.
FirstEnergy crews and contractors will utilize the company's restoration process, which is designed to restore power safely and efficiently for affected customers:
- First, crews focus on securing hazardous situations such as downed wires to protect public safety.
- Priority also is given to hospitals, communications facilities, emergency response agencies and the transmission and substation facilities that supply power for local distribution systems.
- Repairs are then made to circuits serving the largest number of customers, followed by restoration of service to individual homes.
Customers may notice hazard responders in areas with downed wires. Their job is to stay on the scene and prevent the public from contacting fallen, energized lines until line crews can make repairs. In addition, temporary repairs may be performed to make an area safe and restore as many customers on a circuit as possible. If crews leave an area to make temporary repairs elsewhere, they will return as soon as possible to complete the remaining work.
For up-to-date information on the company's restoration effort, current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, go to www.firstenergycorp.com.
In addition, customers can now view timely, accurate and easy-to-use outage information through FirstEnergy's "24/7 Power Center" maps, accessible on desktops, smart phones and mobile devices at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
Reporting an Outage
- If your lights go out, contact your local electric utility by calling the automated outage reporting line at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877). Outages may also be reported through FirstEnergy's online "24/7 Power Center" maps.
- 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.
In Pennsylvania, FirstEnergy's Penelec utility serves 590,000 customers; West Penn Power serves nearly 720,000 customers; Met-Ed serves 540,000 customers; and Penn Power serves 161,000 customers. In addition, Cleveland Electric Illuminating serves 747,000 customers in northeastern Ohio; Ohio Edison serves more than 1 million customers in central and northeastern Ohio; Jersey Central Power & Light serves 1.1 million customers in New Jersey; Mon Power serves nearly 390,000 customers in West Virginia; and 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 approximately 23,000 megawatts.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.