Sep 8, 2011
Parts of an already water-logged PPL Electric Utilities service territory are facing major flooding and power outages as Mother Nature refuses to release her rainy grip on the region.
Heavy rains, hitting already saturated ground, are pouring into area rivers and creeks, forcing many of them over their banks. Power outages are coming primarily from falling trees and floodwaters.
Hardest hit areas include Columbia County around Bloomsburg, Muncy in Lycoming County and Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County. Serious flooding concerns remain in effect through the weekend in the Susquehanna Valley. As of midday, about 16,000 customers were without power.
“We are actively monitoring levels of area streams and rivers and assessing how those conditions are affecting our electric facilities and taking precautions to protect equipment and ensure safety,” said Carl Segneri, vice president of Distribution Operations for PPL Electric Utilities.
PPL Electric Utilities is communicating and working with emergency management officials in all affected communities.
“First and foremost is safety,” Segneri said. “Some areas are currently inaccessible due to rising floodwaters. When the waters recede, we’ll be able to figure out what needs to be done to restore power to customers as soon as possible. Access obviously is a limitation for us today with the numerous road closures and detours.”
For tips on staying safe during power outages, as well as information on what to do during flooding, visit www.pplelectric.com/outage.
In some cases, electric substations are being taken out of service for safety reasons. Where substations are shut down, the utility uses other power lines to reroute as much electricity as possible. PPL Electric Utilities crews also are working to remove electric meters in threatened homes as conditions permit.
Customers in areas experiencing or expecting flooding and loss of electric service are advised to find a safe place to go until the water recedes. Customers are urged to take precautions as this situation could change or deteriorate.
“We know it’s difficult for customers to be without power on the heels of the significant outages from Hurricane Irene last week,” Segneri said. “We appreciate their patience and understanding.”
While the number of outages and trouble locations is not nearly at the level from Hurricane Irene, PPL Electric Utilities is using all resources to monitor conditions and restore power to affected customers as quickly and safely as possible.
Customers are advised to report outages and any storm-related emergencies such as downed power lines immediately so crews can be deployed safely and effectively. Outages can be reported by calling 1-800-342-5775 or online at www.pplelectric.com/outage. Safety tips are available at the same site.
Follow PPL Electric Utilities’ restoration efforts on Twitter at @pplelectric.