September 20, 2008
Service Restoration Nearly Complete for FirstEnergy Utility Customers Affected By Storm
AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FirstEnergy companies have restored service to 987,300 customers affected by Sunday's massive wind storm. Of the 12,700 customers still without power, nearly half are in the hardest-hit areas of Springfield, Alliance and Salem, Ohio, and Zelienople, Pennsylvania. Progress is being made to rebuild large parts of the system damaged or destroyed by the storm, particularly in these communities.
The storm disrupted power to approximately one million customers of Ohio Edison, The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, Pennsylvania Electric (Penelec) and Pennsylvania Power Sunday evening when winds of nearly 80 miles-per-hour swept through FirstEnergy's Ohio and western Pennsylvania service area. As of 9:00 a.m. today, service had been restored to more than 98 percent of affected customers, including all customers in the Penelec service area.
Customers are cautioned never to touch downed lines and urged to keep children and pets away. Even when power to an individual home is out, a downed wire in the yard could be carrying electricity. Customers should never try to remove trees or limbs from power lines. To report downed lines, customers should call the automated outage reporting line -- 1-888-544-4877 (1-888-LIGHTSS) -- and follow the prompts for an outage. Downed wire also may be reported to local police or fire departments.
Customers who are without power may pick up water and ice free of charge at participating Giant Eagle stores.
Tips for customers without power: -- Unplug major appliances until after the power has been restored. Keep one light connected so you will know when the power is back on. -- Burning candles should never be left unattended in a house. -- Keep fresh batteries in flashlights and in a portable radio. -- Gasoline-powered generators should never be operated inside a home or attached garage. -- Use only generators that have been installed by a qualified electrical contractor. Never plug a generator directly into your home's wiring system unless an approved transfer switch is installed by a qualified contractor.
CONTACT: Ellen Raines of FirstEnergy Corp., +1-330-384-5808
Web site: http://www.firstenergycorp.com/