Crews work to restore power from weekend winds
KURT IMMLER | DGKN
High winds over the weekend knocked out power to Wayne County and throughout Ohio, and caused damage such as uprooting trees along E Schultz in Dalton, and damaging El Deseo Latin Grocery Store’s front window.
DGKN staff report
Service has been restored to approximately 293,000 of the more than 454,000 FirstEnergy Corp. customers who lost because of powerful rain and wind storms that swept across the region on Saturday, according to a March 26 news release from FirstEnergy.
Strong winds with gusts exceeding 60 mph in many places began battering Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia late Saturday morning. The winds followed periods of significant rain totaling more than two inches in some areas that began late in the week, saturating the ground and increasing the probability for trees to fall from the heavy winds. Parts of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania also experienced severe thunderstorms Saturday.
Dalton businesses, residents and schools lost power. According to FirstEnergy’s website, on Sunday, severe weather resulted in power still out to 2,795 customers in Wayne County including 430 customers in Baughman Township, 605 in Chippewa Township, 875 in Dalton, 21 in Paint Township and 716 in Sugar Creek Township. Overall throughout Ohio, 95,918 customers were still affected.
FirstEnergy began monitoring and preparing for the weather early in the week, the news release states. Nearly 2,000 line crews, hazard responders, forestry contractors, and safety and other support personnel have been involved in responding since the inclement weather hit, and additional resources are being deployed today to assist the restoration effort. Due to the extent of damage, restoration activities are expected to continue into the work week.
Since the storm began, repairs have been made at hundreds of locations, and crews are working to assess damage and restore service to the customers who remain without power. Though downed trees, localized flooding and road closures can slow progress, crews will continue to work around the clock to safely make repairs and ensure service to all customers has been restored.
Current company updates as of 12:30 p.m. Sunday include:
- The Illuminating Company: Approximately 78,500 customers in northeast Ohio lost power due to the storm, and 42,300 customers remain without service. Service is expected to be restored to the majority of customers by 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 28.
- Ohio Edison: Approximately 152,900 customers in northern and central Ohio lost power due to the storm, and 90,700 remain without service. Expected restoration times will be set later today as the damage is fully assessed.
- Penn Power: Approximately 54,900 customers in western Pennsylvania lost power due to the storm, and 37,700 remain without service. Service is expected to be restored to the majority of customers by 11 p.m. Tuesday, March 28.
- Penelec: Approximately 52,400 customers in northern and central Pennsylvania lost power due to the storm, and 32,700 remain without service. Expected restoration times will be set later today as the damage is fully assessed.
- West Penn Power: Approximately 52,600 customers in western Pennsylvania lost power due to the storm, and 42,300 remain without service. The majority of West Penn Power customers are expected to have service restored by 11 p.m. on Monday, March 27. Customers in the hardest hit area of Butler County are expected to have service restored by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28.
- Mon Power: Approximately 46,500 customers in West Virginia lost power due to the storm, and 29,200 remain without service. The majority of customers are expected to have power restored by 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 28.
How to Report Power Outages and Downed Lines
Customers who have experienced a service interruption due to the storm are encouraged to report their outage if they have not already done so by calling 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), texting OUT to LIGHTS (544487) or clicking the “Report Outage” link on www.firstenergycorp.com.
FirstEnergy customers can sign up to receive email and text message alert notifications for updates after they’ve reported a power outage. 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 communication tools is available at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.
The high winds have brought down trees and branches onto power lines. Customers should assume all downed or low-hanging power lines are energized and dangerous. Stay at least 30 feet away and use extra caution where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris. Report downed lines ASAP by calling 911.
For updated information on the company’s current outages, the company’s storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit FirstEnergy’s 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.