Nor’easter winds, damage could mean extended power outages for some electric customers
PPL is working around the clock to restore power
A scene of storm damage from Elmhurst, Pennsylvania in Lackawanna County.
A scene of storm damage from Elmhurst, Pennsylvania in Lackawanna County.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (March 2, 2018) — A rapidly-intensifying storm packing rain, snow and high winds is causing power outages across the PPL Electric Utilities’ service area with about 1,500 repair jobs identified by late afternoon.

The number of outages is expected to continue to grow as wind gusts cause additional damage. The utility’s repair efforts could last through the weekend. As of 3:30 p.m. Friday (3/2), about 100,000 customers were out of power.

“The combination of saturated ground and high winds is resulting in a lot of damage, a lot of tree-related outages,” said Stephanie Raymond, vice president, Distribution Operations. “PPL crews, coupled with contractor crews, will be working around the clock to get power restored. However, some customers could be without power for more than 24 hours.”

Access to damaged lines and equipment, as well as treacherous travel conditions, are combining to extend restoration times in some cases.

PPL reminds customers to stay safe and stay far away from any downed wires.

Customers also are urged to:

  • Make sure cell phones and other personal devices are fully charged.
  • Use generators safely. If you have to run a generator, make sure you run it outdoors in well-ventilated area — never indoors or in a garage.
  • Use flashlights, not candles, to reduce fire risk.

Because of the high number of outages and the scope of repairs, estimated restoration times for individual homes or businesses may not be immediately available.

“We must first accurately assess the damage, so we can send the right crews and equipment,” said Raymond. “This allows us to restore power faster and more efficiently.”

Repairs are first made to support firefighters, police and critical public safety facilities, like hospitals. From there, crews focus on major power lines and substations that serve large numbers of customers. Where we can, we use switches and smart grid technology to reroute power to as many customers as possible until repairs can be made.

We give higher priority to repairs that will get the largest numbers of customers back in service as quickly as possible. We then restore power to smaller neighborhoods and individual homes and businesses.

“This is a powerful storm. Our grid investments are preventing more outages than ever, but there is still a lot of work to do,” Raymond said. 

PPL Electric Utilities provides electric delivery service to more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in Pennsylvania and ranks among the best utility companies in the country for customer service and reliability. PPL Electric Utilities is a major employer in the communities it serves. It is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). For more information visit www.pplelectric.com
 

For further information: Joe Nixon, 610-774-5997
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