AKRON, Ohio, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The wind storm that began moving through Ohio and Pennsylvania late Wednesday evening – producing sustained winds in excess of 50 mph and gusts up to 65 mph – interrupted electric service to more than 240,000 FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) customers in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
As of noon Thursday, crews from FirstEnergy utility companies – Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI), Toledo Edison, Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric (Penelec), and Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power) – have worked to restore service to more than 185,000 of the customers affected, with the majority expected to be restored by Saturday.
To help restore service to customers as quickly as possible, FirstEnergy utilities will provide additional crews to the hardest hit areas. Personnel from Jersey Central Power & Light and West Penn Power are traveling to Ohio to assist with restoration efforts in the greater Cleveland area. In addition, crews from Duquesne Light and contractor crews will be assisting with restoration efforts.
Customers are reminded to stay safe around electricity. 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 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 24,000 megawatts.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.