Mon Power Restoration Efforts Continue With 190 Additional Linemen Arriving Today
FAIRMONT, W.Va., July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — As part of a massive, around-the-clock effort, Mon Power has restored service to more than 255,000 of the approximately 320,000 customers affected by recent severe storms.
More than 6,200 FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) employees, contractors, and outside utility crew members – including 190 linemen arriving today – are continuing restoration efforts for the approximately 65,000 customers who remain without service. The new crews are being deployed to some of the hardest-hit areas.
Originally, 280,000 Mon Power customers lost power from last Friday’s storm. In addition, approximately 40,000 customers had their service disrupted in subsequent storm events, including a powerful thunderstorm on Sunday.
The majority of affected Mon Power customers are expected to be restored by late Sunday evening. However, because of the severe damage and accessibility challenges in many remote locations, some customers will not be fully restored until early next week. A complete list of estimated restoration times is available on the web at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages_help/Summer_Storm_Information.
“We are seeing an unprecedented amount of damage throughout much of our service area,” said Jim Haney, president, West Virginia Operations, FirstEnergy. “As part of our ongoing restoration efforts, we expect to replace more than 500 poles and repair hundreds of miles of wire. These totals will continue to grow as we complete repairs in many of the mountainous outage locations.”
Since the storms hit, FirstEnergy utility and contractor crews in West Virginia have encountered nearly 18,000 damage locations as a result of the storms. Crews also are responding to more than 11,500 hazard calls to clear downed wires and make the locations safe.
As debris from the storm continues to be cleared, customers are cautioned never to touch downed lines. Customers should always assume downed wires are carrying electricity and are reminded to keep their children and pets away from downed wires. Downed wires should be reported immediately to your electric company or local police or fire department. Customers should never try to remove trees or limbs from power lines because they could conduct electricity; instead, wait for emergency services or utility crews to arrive.
FirstEnergy customers in West Virginia who remain without power can receive one bag of ice and two gallons of water at no charge from participating stores as storm-restoration efforts continue. Over the past week, more than 22,500 bags of ice (about 450,000 pounds) and 20,000 gallons of water have been distributed across the state as part of the program.
Two new distribution locations have been added to the 10 water and ice locations operating in West Virginia. Customers now can obtain water and ice at the Sheetz store in Summersville located at 1300 Wal Street. Beginning tonight at 7 p.m., water and ice will be available at the Sheetz in Philippi located at 125 N. Main Street. A complete list of water and ice locations is available at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages_help/Summer_Storm_Information.
Customers can view timely, accurate and easy-to-use outage information through FirstEnergy’s “24/7 Power Center” maps, accessible on desktops, smart phones and mobile devices at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
During significant service interruptions, outage information is also available via the company’s Twitter accounts. A list of all accounts is available here: www.firstenergycorp.com/newsroom/social_media.
Mon Power serves nearly 390,000 customers in West Virginia.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies comprise one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems. 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 nearly 23,000 megawatts.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.