Ongoing Mon Power Restoration Efforts Hampered by Severe Damage and Accessibility Challenges
FAIRMONT, W.Va., July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Mon Power is continuing its massive, around-the-clock repair efforts to restore the remaining 25,000 customers who lost power from last week’s strong storms. The majority of the remaining customers are located in remote areas with severe damage.
Originally, 280,000 Mon Power customers lost power when severe weather hit the region on June 29, 2012. To date, approximately 268,000 – or more than 95 percent – of those customers have been restored. On July 1, 2012, a second storm hit the area and caused an additional 40,000 Mon Power customers to lose power. Overall, more than 320,000 Mon Power customers lost power from last week’s severe weather events.
“We greatly appreciate our customer’s patience as our crews continue repairing the worst storm damage I have seen in more than 30 years with the company,” said Jim Haney, president, West Virginia Operations, FirstEnergy. “Because the remaining work is especially labor-intensive, with smaller numbers of customers being restored with each repair, we have revised the estimated restoration times for the remaining customers to better reflect the severe damage our crews continue to discover as they work out in the field.”
While the majority of affected customers in most counties served by Mon Power should be restored by Wednesday, a few customers in the hardest-hit areas might not be fully restored until later in the week.
A complete list of estimated restoration times is available on the web at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages_help/Summer_Storm_Information.
More than 6,300 FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) employees, contractors, and outside utility crew members in West Virginia have encountered nearly 27,000 damage locations as a result of the storms. Crews also have responded to more than 13,500 hazard orders to clear downed wires and make the locations safe.
One of the most time-consuming aspects of the outage restoration process is setting a new pole. So far, Mon Power crews have replaced hundreds of poles as a result of storm damage. However, current outage orders indicate that almost 400 poles still need to be replaced.
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.
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.