AKRON, Ohio, June 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) utility personnel continue to remove debris and restore service following the severe summer storm that hit parts of its service territory last night, customers are reminded of the hazards associated with downed power lines.
Across the company's West Virginia, Maryland, western Pennsylvania and southern Ohio service areas, thousands of downed lines have been reported, and many are entangled in trees and not easily visible. FirstEnergy crews and local police and fire departments are responding to downed wires as quickly as possible.
Customers are cautioned to never touch a line that is on the ground or hanging from an electrical pole. Even though a line may look harmless, it may be carrying electricity. Touching a live power line can cause a serious electrical shock resulting in injury or death.
Keep children and pets away from downed wires, and never attempt to remove trees or limbs from power lines because they could conduct electricity. If a downed line is near water, keep far away. Do not drive over downed wires, and stay away from downed lines that are in contact with vehicles.
Downed wires should be reported immediately to the appropriate FirstEnergy utility by calling the automated reporting line at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877), or calling the local police or fire department.
FirstEnergy's restoration process is designed to restore power safely and efficiently for affected customers. Crews are focused on responding to hazardous situations and high-priority damage locations, including the transmission and substation facilities that supply power for local distribution systems. Priority is also given to hospitals, critical care and life support facilities, communications facilities, emergency response agencies and circuits serving the largest number of customers, followed by restoration of service to individual homes. A line may be damaged in multiple locations, or at some distance from customers who are out of service. Line and tree crews or other workers will make high-priority repairs first, which must be completed before damage in closer locations can be repaired. Patience is appreciated as FirstEnergy works to restore power to all customers affected by the storm.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies comprise one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric system. Its diverse generating fleet features non-emitting nuclear, scrubbed baseload coal, natural gas, and pumped-storage hydro and other renewables, and has a total generating capacity of nearly 23,000 megawatts.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.
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