ALLENTOWN, Pa., July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- PPL Electric Utilities crews are working hard to restore service to customers following extensive storm damage caused by a line of severe thunder and lightning storms accompanied by strong, gusty winds.
Significant outages have been reported in almost all areas of the utility's service territory, with areas north of Interstate 80 generally being hardest hit. Field crews and assessors are reporting broken poles, trees on wires, downed trees blocking roads, and other storm-related damage throughout the company's 29-county service area.
Although power is being restored to customers on an ongoing basis, storm restoration work is expected to continue into the weekend for some customers. More specific estimated restoration times will be released after the utility is further able to assess the extent of damage and the scope of repairs.
"The damage from this storm is extensive and spread throughout our service area, with both transmission and distribution facilities affected," said Mike DeCesaris, director of system emergency for the utility. "Everyone involved in our storm restoration effort is focused on getting customers back in service as quickly and safely as we can."
As of 10 p.m. Thursday (7/26), about 25,300 customers remained without power, while more than 35,000 had been restored since the afternoon.
During the day Thursday, the utility dedicated all PPL Electric Utilities and contractor crews to work extended hours well into the evening. Most crews will work until 11 p.m., rest overnight and return to the job at 7 a.m. Friday (7/27). Some crews and troublemen who got a later start Thursday will work overnight to continue storm repairs.
The utility has also brought in outside assessors and customer call staff to better serve customers and advance storm recovery work.
Customers are reminded to report all outages by calling 1-800-DIAL-PPL (342-5775) or online at www.pplelectric.com/outage. The company relies on customers' calls to help determine the extent of damage and prioritize repair work.
Also, customers are urged to stay safe. Stay away from downed wires, and from tree branches that may be hiding downed wires. Always assume a utility wire is energized. Also, be sure to run generators outdoors, not in enclosed spaces.
PPL Electric Utilities' first priority in storm restoration is repair work involving critical public safety facilities such as hospitals or police stations. After that, the company focuses first on the largest repair jobs in order to bring the most customers on line as quickly as possible.
PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), provides electric delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.
SOURCE PPL Electric Utilities