Aug 29, 2011
PPL Electric Utilities has restored power to more than 153,000 customers since the start of Hurricane Irene and anticipates making strong progress on remaining outages Monday.
“We expect favorable weather today, which will help our crews as they work to clean up extensive damage to our transmission and distribution systems,” said David Bonenberger, director of system emergency. “Restoring our customers’ service as quickly and safely as possible remains our top priority.”
The utility continues to expect a prolonged, multi-day restoration effort due to widespread wind, rain and flooding damage throughout its 29-county service area. About 123,700 customers remained without power at 7:30 a.m. Monday.
Outages are being dispatched based on the number of people affected, with the largest outages at the top of the priority list. Crews are mainly dealing with damaged utility poles, fallen trees on wires, downed wires and related cleanup. PPL Electric Utilities has now received 4,250 cases of trouble – individual jobs, large and small, throughout the company’s service area.
“We thank our customers for their patience. We have more than 1,600 people working on this recovery and many dedicated, experienced crews throughout our service area. We anticipate that we will be able to restore thousands of customers today,” Bonenberger said.
Additional crews will arrive Monday and Tuesday from utilities in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana to help restore service to customers. About 300 tree and line crews are working 16-hour days. A smaller staff of employees worked in the field during overnight hours to cover emergencies.
The Honesdale-Pocono-Scranton region of northeast Pennsylvania is the hardest-hit area, with about 49,000 customers remaining without power. The Lehigh Valley is the next largest center of outages, with about 30,000 customers still without power.
PPL Electric Utilities urges its customers to stay safe. Stay away from downed power lines and always assume they are energized. Turn off electric ovens, ranges or space heaters that may have been on when the outage began.
Customers experiencing prolonged outages can visit PPL Electric Utilities’ online outage center at www.pplelectric.com/outage for information on ice and water distributors.
Also, customers without power are asked to report their outages at 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775) or online at www.pplelectric.com/outage. Please try again if you do not get through the first time.
PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), provides electric delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.