FirstEnergy Utilities Continue Assessing Damage and Restoring Service to More Than 1.5 Million Customers Impacted by Hurricane Sandy
Efforts by More Than 11,800 FirstEnergy Personnel, Contractors and Outside Utility Workers Slowed by Weather Conditions and Accessibility Challenges
AKRON, Ohio, Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia have launched a massive assessment and restoration effort in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which inflicted significant damage to the company's electric system. Currently, more than 1.5 million FirstEnergy customers remain without power.
The outage totals by utility are as follows:
- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L): more than 930,000
- Metropolitan-Edison (Met-Ed): more than 203,000
- The Illuminating Company (CEI): more than 203,000
- Mon Power: more than 85,000
- Potomac Edison: more than 90,000
- Penelec: more than 35,000
- Ohio Edison: more than 32,000
- West Penn Power: more than 9,000
Including personnel from FirstEnergy utilities, electrical contractors and outside utility resources, more than 11,800 workers are involved in the service restoration effort, including linemen, dispatchers, hazard responders, damage assessors, mechanics, supervisors and call center representatives. FirstEnergy is working to secure further outside resources to assist with the restoration process, and additional personnel are heading to the hardest hit areas from as far away as California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Florida and Canada.
With torrential rains, intense winds and – in some portions of FirstEnergy's service territory – heavy snows now subsiding, comprehensive damage assessments are continuing. These assessments are a critical component in the ability to dispatch repair crews and determine estimated restoration times. Assessments are being conducted both on foot and via helicopter for harder to reach areas in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Helicopter patrols will also be used in West Virginia when flying conditions improve. In parallel with these assessments, utility crews are responding to hazardous situations, such as downed wires, to secure areas and make them safe.
FirstEnergy's restoration process is designed to restore power safely and efficiently for affected customers. The priority for restoration starts with emergency services, including hospitals, police, fire and first aid. Priority is also given to circuits serving the largest number of customers, followed by restoration of service to individual homes.
Reporting an Outage
- FirstEnergy customer call centers are fully staffed. Customers 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.
- Immediately report downed wires to your electric company or local police or fire department. Never go near a downed power line, even if you think it's no longer carrying electricity.
- Don't try to remove trees or tree limbs from power lines. Wait for utility crews to arrive.
Safety Tips During Outages
- Keep flashlights and fresh batteries in your home. Avoid using candles to light your home, especially around children and pets.
- Never use a gas stove, grill, lantern or heater intended for outdoor use inside your home.
- Make sure you have fresh batteries in a portable radio so you can stay tuned to your local radio station for updates on our progress to restore power.
- Emergency power generators offer an option for customers needing or wanting uninterrupted service. However, to ensure the safety of the home's occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified, licensed 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 and the public. In addition, generators should only be used outdoors and only in well-ventilated areas.
For updated information on the company's storm preparation efforts, current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages. JCP&L customers can find the latest information on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL. FirstEnergy operating companies will also provide updates via Twitter:
- JCP&L: @JCP_L
- Penelec: @Penelec
- Met-Ed: @Met_Ed
- West Penn Power: @W_Penn_Power
- Penn Power: @Penn_Power
- Potomac Edison: @PotomacEdison
- Mon Power: @MonPowerWV
- Ohio Edison: @OhioEdison
- The Illuminating Company: @IlluminatingCo
- Toledo Edison: @ToledoEdison
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company 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 Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. Its generation subsidiaries control more than 20,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.