MORRISTOWN, N.J., Aug. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Electrical service to approximately 157,000 customers of Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utility, has been restored following Hurricane Irene.
Company personnel continue working to restore service to another 431,000 customers who remain without power as a result of the storm, which has caused considerable flooding and tree damage throughout northern and central New Jersey. Reports of downed power lines in more than 6,000 locations have been received. Many customers will be restored in the next several days. In areas with extensive flooding and wind related damage, restoration is expected to continue throughout the week.
To efficiently and safely restore service to storm-impacted JCP&L customers, FirstEnergy has more than 1,200 employees from JCP&L, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power, Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, West Penn Power, Mon Power and Potomac Edison. Another 300 lineworkers and support personnel are being deployed to the area today and tomorrow.
Throughout the storm restoration process, company representatives will be working closely with local, state and federal emergency management officials and state utility regulators.
"Our hazard and line crews have been addressing power outages since the hurricane first hit, and lineworkers, vehicles and supplies from other FirstEnergy utilities have provided immediate support that will aid us throughout the restoration process," said JCP&L President Donald M. Lynch. "While we are making progress with restoration, we are also still assessing damage and developing work plans for timely, efficient and safe repairs to restore all customers. Access to some areas remains limited by debris from downed trees and limbs and heavy flooding, and the safety of our workers and the public is a top priority while we work to restore service. Widespread damage in the aftermath of a major storm can take days to repair, and we ask for customers to remain patient as we work to restore power.
"Our top priority remains keeping our customers and employees safe as we return power to service," Lynch added. "Downed wires should be reported immediately to JCP&L or local police or fire departments."
FirstEnergy customer call centers are fully staffed, with additional representatives available in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia if needed. JCP&L 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.
JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in 13 New Jersey counties.
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 ten 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.