Service has been restored to more than 152,000 customers who lost power across FirstEnergy Corp.'s service territory following the winter ice and snow storm that hit the region yesterday. Since the storm began, repairs have been made at hundreds of locations, and crews are working around the clock to restore service to approximately 85,000 customers who remain without power in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey.
Among the areas hardest hit were eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, where more than 145,000 customers of Ohio Edison, Penn Power and West Penn Power lost power due to the storm. Approximately 470 additional line workers, damage assessors and hazard responders are being deployed to assist FirstEnergy utilities with restoration efforts in these areas.
As damage assessment progresses, expected restoration times will be updated on FirstEnergy's 24/7 Power Center outage maps. Full restoration may stretch into late Sunday evening for some of the hardest hit areas, including Columbiana, Mahoning, Stark and Trumbull counties in Ohio and Butler, Armstrong and Allegheny counties in Pennsylvania.
"Accumulating ice, wet snow and brisk winds caused heavy, ice-coated branches and trees to fall into power lines and other equipment," said Samuel L. Belcher, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "We will continue to work round-the-clock to safely make repairs and deploy resources as needed until all customers are restored."
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.
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 exercised in areas where downed wires may be tangled in downed tree branches or other debris.
Customers also are reminded of the following safety tips for preparing for and dealing with outages caused by winter weather:
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.
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 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. For more information, visit www.firstenergycorp.com.
SOURCE: FirstEnergy Corp.