AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The massive ice and snow storm that moved through northern Ohio yesterday left approximately 200,000 FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) customers without power. As of 3:00 p.m. today, 180,000 have been restored. Less than 20,000 remain without service in the Toledo and Cleveland areas. In Cleveland, the majority are expected to be restored by midnight tonight, with the remaining customers back in service by Wednesday afternoon. In Toledo, where the ice damage was more severe, most customers are expected to be restored by midnight Wednesday, with some individual outage locations possibly stretching to Thursday.
Crews from other FirstEnergy utilities – Ohio Edison, Pennsylvania Power and Pennsylvania Electric – have joined Toledo Edison and The Illuminating Company crews, as well as outside contractors and crews from Detroit Edison and Cleveland Public Power, to assist with restoration efforts, particularly in the hardest hit areas of Sylvania and Holland in northwest Ohio, and Chardon, Chesterland, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Lakewood and North Olmsted in northeast Ohio. In total, nearly 280 utility and contractor crews are involved in the restoration effort, which was hampered by treacherous road conditions and ice-covered tree limbs falling into electrical equipment.
Customers are reminded to stay safe around electricity, particularly with children out of school due to the weather. Here are a few tips for customers without electricity:
- Call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report power outages. This automated reporting system is the fastest way to let your utility company know that your lights are out.
- Be safe around power lines. Assume any downed wire is carrying electricity and call your local electric company, police or fire department to report it.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Food will keep for hours if you limit the number of times the doors are opened.
- Never use gas stoves or outdoor heaters to keep your house warm. These devices can cause the build up of deadly carbon monoxide in your home.
- Use generators safely and according to instructions. Follow directions for placement of generators and safe electrical connections. Never connect a generator to your home electrical system without contacting a certified electrician and installing a proper isolation device.
- Stock up on batteries for flashlights and portable radios.
- Unplug appliances and electronics until power is restored. This will help protect your electronics and other sensitive equipment, and ease the initial load on the electrical system when the power is restored. Leave one light on so that you know when the power is back.
- Make sure you have at least one corded telephone. Most cordless phones will not operate properly in a power outage.
- Stay tuned for updates and information from your local and state emergency management agencies.
For more information and tips, as well as maps of current power outages, visit FirstEnergy's website at www.firstenergycorp.com.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Its subsidiaries and affiliates are involved in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, as well as energy management and other energy-related services. Its seven electric utility operating companies comprise the nation's fifth largest investor-owned electric system, based on 4.5 million customers served within a 36,100-square-mile area of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey; and its generation subsidiaries control approximately 13,500 megawatts of capacity.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.