Service has been restored to more than 45,000 Metropolitan Edison Co. customers who lost power following the damaging thunderstorms that hit the region late Monday. Currently, approximately 14,000 customers remain out of service from wind gusts approaching 70 mph, with the hardest hit areas including Stroudsburg and Easton, Pennsylvania
The restoration effort includes more than 1,500 Met-Ed linemen, electrical contractors, FirstEnergy utility personnel, damage assessors, hazard responders, forestry supervisors, and dispatchers that are on the ground. Additional resources also are en route. To handle the influx of outside workers, Met-Ed has set up a staging site in Shawnee, an area that sustained substantial damage to the electric system.
The main priority for Met-Ed is making repairs to a major substation in the Shawnee area of Smithfield Township, in Monroe County, and a 34.5-kilovolt power line that connects the substation to the grid. About 17 broken poles will need to be replaced, downed wire re-strung, and cross-arms, transformers and other equipment replaced as part of this labor-intensive rebuild effort. Because this substation is in a remote area, specialized, off-road tracked vehicles are being brought in to help expedite the restoration process as a number of the downed poles are in a swampy area.
Due to this significant damage, Met-Ed expects customers in the Easton area to be restored by late Friday, and customers in the Stroudsburg area to be restored by late Saturday.
"Our restoration efforts continue to be challenged by the rainy conditions, which have hampered our ability to use helicopters to patrol some of the more remote damage locations," said Ed Shuttleworth, regional president of Met-Ed. "Met-Ed personnel, assisted by other FirstEnergy and contractor resources, will continue to work around the clock to safety restore service to our customers."
As part of its storm restoration process, Met-Ed has taken the following steps:
- Ramped up storm updates on social media and on the company website. Follow Met-Ed on Twitter @Met Ed and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MetEdElectric.
- Communicated with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators, and local officials about storm restoration efforts
- Staffed additional dispatchers and analysts at regional dispatch offices
- Met-Ed also is providing ice and water at three Giant Food Store locations. Customers who are without power can receive up to 2-8 lb. bags of ice and up to 3 gallons of water per household per day.