FirstEnergy Crews Making Repairs Following Widespread Rain and Windstorm

AKRON, Ohio, Nov. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Service has been restored to more than 222,500 FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) customers who lost power due to powerful rain and windstorms that swept across the region on Halloween.

FirstEnergy Corp. Logo (PRNewsfoto/FirstEnergy Corp.)

Long periods of heavy rain, totaling three inches in many places, coupled with strong winds gusting to 55 mph, began battering Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey yesterday morning. Parts of central Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland also experienced severe thunderstorms with winds gusting to 70 mph.

FirstEnergy began monitoring and preparing for the weather early in the week. Crews were prepared to begin responding as soon as the inclement weather hit, and additional support is being dispatched today to assist the restoration effort. Since the storm began, repairs have been made at hundreds of locations, and crews are working to assess damage and restore service to approximately 31,800 customers who remain without power. Though downed trees, localized flooding and road closures can slow progress, crews will continue to work around the clock to safely make repairs and ensure service to all customers has been restored.

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. 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 taken in areas where downed wires may be tangled in downed tree branches or other debris.

Current company updates as of 12:30 p.m. today include:

  • The Illuminating Company: Approximately 30,000 customers in northeast Ohio lost power due to the storm, and 3,000 customers remain without service. The majority of customers in Cuyahoga and Geauga counties are expected to have service restored by 11:30 p.m tonight, while customers in the harder hit areas of Lake and Ashtabula counties are expected to have service restored by 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.
  • Ohio Edison: Approximately 33,000 customers in northern and central Ohio lost power due to the storm, and 630 remain without service. Service is expected to be restored to the majority of customers by 11:30 p.m. tonight.
  • Penn Power: Approximately 5,500 customers in western Pennsylvania lost power due to the storm, and 340 remain without service. Service is expected to be restored to the majority of customers by 11:30 p.m. tonight.
  • Penelec: Nearly 50,000 customers in northern and central Pennsylvania lost power due to the storm, and 7,600 remain without service. Customers in the hardest hit areas of Bradford, Centre, Clearfield, Indiana, Jefferson, Lycoming, Potter, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wyoming counties are expected to have power restored by 8 p.m. tomorrow evening. The majority of other Penelec customers are expected to have power restored by 11 p.m. tonight.
  • West Penn Power: Approximately 22,600 customers in western Pennsylvania lost power due to the storm, and 4,100 remain without service. Service is expected to be restored for the majority of customers by 4 p.m. tomorrow.
  • Mon Power: Approximately 22,200 customers in West Virginia lost power due to the storm, and 2,200 remain without service. The majority of customers are expected to have power restored by 6 p.m. tomorrow.
  • Potomac Edison: Approximately 30,000 customers in Maryland and West Virginia lost power due to the storm, and 4,100 remain without service. The majority of customers are expected to have power restored by 4 p.m. tomorrow.
  • Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed): Approximately 24,000 customers in eastern Pennsylvania have lost power due to the storm, and 3,700 remain without power. Service is expected to be restored for the majority of customers by midnight tonight, though some in the hardest hit areas will extend until 12:30 p.m. tomorrow.
  • Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L): Approximately 37,000 customers in northern and central New Jersey have lost power due to the storm, and 6,200 remain without service. Estimated restoration times will be established as damage assessment progresses.

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

With cold weather expected across the region over the next several days, customers are reminded of tips for staying safe when the power is out:

  • Never use a portable generator inside the house or a closed garage in the event of a power outage. Ensure the proper generator is selected and installed by a qualified electrician.
  • When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
  • Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources to prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from building up in your home.

A video playlist of utility personnel discussing the impact of wind storms on equipment and restoration efforts is available on YouTube.

FirstEnergy customers 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.

FirstEnergy is 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. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow FirstEnergy and its operating companies on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp, @ToledoEdison, @IlluminatingCo, @OhioEdison, @MonPowerWV, @JCP_L, @Penn_Power, @Penelec, @Met_Ed, @PotomacEdison, @W_Penn_Power.

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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

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