Sep 21, 2003
More than 1,500 PPL Electric Utilities' employees, with help from as far away as Iowa and Canada, have now restored service to nearly 95 percent of the customers affected by Hurricane Isabel.
"This has been the largest restoration effort in the company's history and we are very appreciative for the patience our customers have shown," said John Sipics, president of PPL Electric Utilities. "We are never satisfied when even one customer is out of service and we will continue working around the clock until all service is restored."
More than 500 line crews -- from PPL and other utilities -- are now working to restore service. As of 7 p.m. Sunday (9/21), all but 25,000 customers have had service restored. Overall, about 490,000 customers had service interrupted.
"Over the past 72 hours, the experienced and dedicated employees of PPL have restored service to about 9,000 customers per hour," Sipics said. "This is an extraordinary accomplishment."
Most of the damage resulted from broken tree limbs and falling trees from beyond the area PPL Electric Utilities has permission to prune. With outage reports from customers continuing to come in over the weekend, the number of jobs required to repair Isabel's damage is about 4,000. A storm event is considered large if it causes more than 1,000 individual cases of necessary system repairs.
PPL Electric Utilities has made more than 25,000 outreach calls to customers since Friday. The company also is still providing drinking water and ice through a network of local stores to people at no cost in areas that have sustained extensive damage.
While the recovery efforts began Thursday night, planning for the possible damage from Isabel began a week earlier.
"Preparation for the storm has allowed us to act quickly and decisively to assess damage, get the people and equipment where they are needed and address human needs in this difficult period," Sipics said. "While the overall restoration has been extraordinary, we remain concerned that there are still a significant number of customers without electricity. As restoration work is completed in one of our operating regions, resources are being redeployed to assist efforts in the remaining regions."
Service has been completely restored in the Lehigh and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre regions. Estimated restoration times for the other regions are:
* Bucks and Montgomery Region: Late tonight. * Pocono Region (including Monroe, Pike, and Wayne counties): Monday afternoon. * Hazleton/Carbon County/Schuylkill County Region: Monday evening. * Susquehanna Region (including Lycoming, Snyder, Northumberland, Montour, Columbia, and Clinton counties): Monday evening. * Harrisburg Region (including Dauphin, Cumberland, Juniata and Perry counties): Late Monday night. * Lancaster Region (including York, Berks, Chester and Lebanon counties): Late Tuesday night.
Customers should call PPL Electric Utilities' toll free number, 800-342-5775 (800-DIAL-PPL) to report outages, fallen wires or special needs.
PPL Electric Utilities provides electric delivery service to 1.3 million homes and businesses in 29 counties of eastern and central Pennsylvania.
PPL Electric Utilities Corporation is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corporation controls about 11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.
SOURCE: PPL Corporation
CONTACT: Constance Walker of PPL Corporation, +1-610-774-5997
Web site: http://www.pplweb.com/