The summer of 2018 has been one of the rainiest on record. As business and homeowners, most of us have felt the impact of flooded basements, washed out roads, canceled outdoor activities and possibly even lost business.
Here at Met-Ed, we too have felt the impacts but in a much different way. The ongoing rain and wind has meant a summer of relentless assault on our infrastructure… particularly from trees uprooting in the oversaturated ground and impassable roadways restricting our travel and at times, delaying our restoration progress. Met-Ed’s line and substation crews, along with our support personnel, have been responding to this unusual weather throughout the summer. Our crews have been working 16/8 (16 hours on, 8 hours rest) for long periods of time to restore electric service, and all the while, continuing to make planned reliability improvements to our system. Time and time again, scheduled work has had to be rescheduled as crews were called on to get the lights back on for customers whose electric service was affected by the weather.
As Mother Nature continues to dole out a barrage of rain on PA, it’s very possible we will be impacted by Hurricane Florence.
FirstEnergy meteorologists are tracking the storm system that is forecast to make landfall in the Carolinas later this week and could have secondary impacts, such as heavy rain and high winds, in Met-Ed’s service area. We are reviewing storm response plans and staffing requirements, which can be adjusted based on the severity of the weather. In fact, we are already planning to pre-stage hundreds of contracted utility workers arriving in our region on Wednesday so they can quickly be deployed to areas hardest hit by the coming storms
For updated information on the company’s current outages, Met-Ed’s storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
Met-Ed encourages customers to plan ahead for the possibility of electric service interruptions by following these tips:
· Keep flashlights and fresh batteries in your home. Avoid using candles to light your home, especially around children and pets.
· If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.
· Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that does not require cooking.
· Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when the power is out.
· Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person.
· Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources indoors. These can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to build up in your home.
· Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
· Emergency power generators offer an option for customers needing or wanting uninterrupted service. However, to ensure the safety of the home’s occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
Met-Ed customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts. More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.
Rest assured, regardless of what Mother Nature brings us, Met-Ed will continue to respond to restore your service in the event of an outage.