PPL Electric Utilities reports power outages caused by Hurricane Irene damage in nearly every county of its 29-county service territory and more than 200,000 customers affected across its system in central and eastern Pennsylvania.
With crews working through the night, PPL Electric Utilities has restored service to more than 73,000 customers, including more than 25,000 customers in Lancaster and Berks counties, more than 17,000 in Harrisburg, and about 14,000 in the Lehigh Valley. Of the total outages, more than half are in the company’s Lancaster and Harrisburg regions.
Estimated restoration times for specific areas have not yet been established, as PPL Electric Utilities continues to assess the full scope of storm damage. Storm cleanup could take up five days to complete with restoration depending on the area.
More specific restoration estimates will be provided as the assessment process is completed and individual jobs are dispatched. Outages will be dispatched today based on the number of customers affected by the case, with priority given to any trouble affecting public health and safety facilities. Customers who are without power and live in more rural or remote areas are likely to be without power the longest and may wish to take steps based on their personal situation.
“We will work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to our customers,” said Gregory Dudkin, senior vice president, operations, PPL Electric Utilities. “We made arrangements for additional staffing and supplies prior to the hurricane. Now, we’re putting our plans into action and responding to customers’ needs. Due to the extent of damage that Irene has left, a considerable effort will be needed over a period of days to restore service to everyone.”
Everyone is urged to practice the following safety precautions:
- Avoid downed power lines and always assume they are energized.
- Stay away from electrical equipment that is partially submerged in water, such as in a flooded basement.
- Use flashlights instead of candles whenever possible, since candles can cause a fire if tipped by animals or people.
- Unplug sensitive home electronics devices that could be damaged when power is restored.
Based on the number of customers reporting interruptions, Hurricane Irene ranks among the worst storms to hit PPL Electric Utilities’ service area in the past 20 years. About 150 employees and contractors of Louisville Gas and Electric arrived Sunday to assist in the restoration effort alongside PPL Electric Utilities and local contractor crews.
An up-to-date breakdown of outages by county and municipality is available by clicking HERE. The site provides a service area map, safety tips, restoration priorities, and related information. The utility relies upon customer outage reports to help assess the extent of damage and most effectively deploy crews. Persons with friends and family living the in effected areas are encourage to help by giving them the outage call number, which is (800) 342-5775.
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