Winds Gusts Nearing 70 MPH Caused Tree-Related Damage in Eastern Pa.
READING, Pa., May 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Service has been restored to approximately 39,000 Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) customers who lost power following the damaging thunderstorms that produced wind gusts approaching 70 mph as it blew across the Mid-Atlantic region late yesterday.
Currently, approximately 20,000 Met-Ed customers remain out of service in eastern Pennsylvania, with more than 18,000 of those customers located in the Stroudsburg and Easton areas. Crews are addressing safety hazards and making progress restoring customers.
The high winds caused significant damage to a major Met-Ed substation in Shawnee, in Monroe County, including damage to poles, wires, and transformers along a 34.5-kilovolt power line that is connected to the substation. At least a dozen poles are broken and there are multiple spans of downed wire, broken cross-arms, and other damaged equipment that will need to be replaced. The assessment process was delayed due to fog grounding helicopters that would normally have been used to patrol the difficult to access area.
As a result, Met-Ed expects customers in the Easton area to be restored by late Friday, and customers in the Stroudsburg area to be restored by late Saturday.
The restoration effort includes about 1,247 Met-Ed linemen, electrical contractors, FirstEnergy utility personnel, damage assessors, hazard responders, forestry supervisors, and dispatchers that are on the ground or en route. Met-Ed also is working with several utility mutual assistance organizations to obtain additional resources.
"The severe winds resulted in significant tree-related damage to the entire Met-Ed system, including dozens of broken poles and downed wires that will need to be replaced," said Ed Shuttleworth, regional president of Met-Ed. "Our restoration times reflect the widespread damage, in particular the time it will take to make repairs around the substation in Shawnee that provides power to more than 10,000 customers."
As part of its storm restoration process, Met-Ed has taken the following steps:
- Ramped up storm updates on social media and on the company website. Follow Met-Ed on Twitter @Met Ed and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MetEdElectric.
- Communicated with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators, and local officials about storm restoration efforts
- Staffed additional dispatchers and analysts at regional dispatch offices
Effective as of 6 p.m. tonight, Met-Ed is providing ice and water at three Giant Food Store locations.
Met-Ed customers who are without power can receive up to 2-8 lb. bags of ice and up to 3 gallons of water per household per day.
837 Male Rd, Wind Gap, Pa. 18091
301 Town Center Blvd, Forks, Pa. 18040
3560 Route 611, Suite 105, Stroudsburg, Pa. 18321
Met-Ed reminds customers to immediately report downed wires to their utility at 888-LIGHTSS (888-544-4877), or to their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed wire even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris.
After local power lines are repaired and put back in service, damage to individual customer service wires may become apparent. Customers are reminded that if their neighbor's power is on and theirs is not, the problem may be isolated to their individual service, and service to the neighbor could be fed from a different circuit. Customers are encouraged to report such problems, even at this latter stage in the restoration process.
Met-Ed, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), serves approximately 560,000 customers in 15 Pennsylvania counties. Follow Met-Ed on Twitter @Met Ed and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MetEdElectric.
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. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.