READING, Pa., Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed), a FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utility, is monitoring developing severe weather conditions and has completed storm restoration preparations should the significant snowfall that is forecast to hit eastern Pennsylvania cause power outages.
"FirstEnergy meteorologists are monitoring the weather conditions closely and we will deploy resources to the Met-Ed areas in eastern Pennsylvania that could be most impacted by the forecasted snow," said Dave Karafa, president of FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania Operations.
Winter's cold temperatures, heavy snow and wind have the potential to cause damage to poles, wires and substations, requiring crews to make repairs in difficult conditions. In advance of the winter season, Met-Ed completed maintenance work on equipment and did various inspections to help prepare its infrastructure for cold-weather operations.
The winter preparation work included inspecting heating equipment for substation components, such as capacitor banks, transformers, and oil- and gas-filled circuit breakers. Substation buildings that house remote-controlled relay equipment were winterized and the heating systems inspected.
Company bucket trucks and other vehicles also have been inspected to ensure safe operation during the winter season. Special emphasis is placed on the condition of tires and any air braking systems, which can freeze if moisture is present. In addition, snow removal equipment is on standby. Plows are used to help crews gain access to substations, and to clear the work areas and sidewalks at company service garages and other facilities.
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 www.firstenergycorp.com. In the event of severe weather, customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris. Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.
For updated information on the company's current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive billing reminders, weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts.
More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.
Met-Ed serves approximately 560,000 customers in 15 Pennsylvania counties.
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 Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.