Met-Ed Continues to Make Repairs to System Following Devastating Winter Storm that Impacted Entire Mid-Atlantic and New England RegionAdditional Linemen, Hazard Assessors and Support Personnel from FirstEnergy Utilities and Electrical Contractors Traveling to Eastern Pa. to Assist
READING, Pa., March 4, 2018 -- Service has been restored to more than 186,000 Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) customers who lost power following the massive winter storm that pounded the entire Mid-Atlantic and New England region this weekend.
Some of the hardest hit areas were in Met-Ed's eastern Pennsylvania counties that experienced 50 mph winds and more than a foot of heavy, wet snow. Currently, approximately 43,000 customers remain out of service due to the severe winter weather, with the hardest hit areas including Stroudsburg and Easton.
More than 300 Met-Ed linemen, damage assessors, hazard responders, forestry personnel, dispatchers and public protectors are working to restore customer outages. In addition, more than 550 line workers and support personnel from other FirstEnergy utilities and contractors will be arriving to assist with restoration efforts in the Met-Ed service areas. These crews recently completed work restoring customers in other parts of Pennsylvania who lost power because of the winter storm.
"Large areas of the eastern seaboard were slammed by this winter storm and unfortunately many Met-Ed customers got hit pretty hard," said Ed Shuttleworth, regional president of Met-Ed. "The high winds were a big challenge to our initial restoration efforts since it was unsafe for our crews to go up in buckets and make repairs. Plus, the wet, heavy snow and hundreds of road closures made it almost impossible to travel to some damage locations. Met-Ed crews and other personnel will continue to work round-the-clock to make repairs and deploy resources as needed until all customers are restored."
As part of the damage assessment process, Met-Ed is using helicopters and aerial drones to inspect damaged power lines, especially in more remote areas.
Met-Ed expects the majority of customers to be restored to service by late Monday. However, customers in the hardest hit areas of Easton and Stroudsburg will be restored by late Wednesday night.
To handle the influx of outside workers, Met-Ed has set up staging sites in Easton and East Stroudsburg.
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.
- Aired radio ads telling customers how to prepare for storms
- Initiated update calls with officials
- Communicated with emergency management, officials, state officials, regulators, and local officials about storm restoration efforts
- Staffed additional dispatchers and analysts at regional dispatch offices
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.
FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive billing reminders, weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts.
More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.
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. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
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