REGION - Thunderstorms, complete with tornado watches, swept over much of northeastern Pennsylvania, Tuesday night July 8th. The following progress report on PPL Electric Utilities' efforts to restore power was provided by Ryan Hill, Manager, PPL Community Relations:
REGION- Thunderstorms, complete with tornado watches, swept over much of mid-Pennsylvania and northeastern Pennsylvania, Tuesday night July 8th. The following progress report on PPL Electric Utilities’ efforts to restore power was provided by Ryan Hill, Manager, PPL Community Relations:
As you likely felt and experienced last night, the severe thunderstorms that swept through our area brought high winds and substantial lightning. The storm systems stretched from north to south across our entire service territory.
We made significant progress in restoring service to customers overnight. We’ve returned power to more than 55,000 customers since the storms hit. Less than 15,000 remain without power.
[PPL's outage map on Wednesday afternoon showed that 1654 PPL customers in Wayne County and 67 in Pike Count were still without electrical service.]
Bringing all resources to bear
We have hundreds of linemen and other crews working throughout our service territory. In addition, we have requested and are getting assistance from hundreds of additional line workers from more than six other states, including Maine, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.
We expect to make significant progress today. However, this is expected to be a multi-day restoration effort because of the severity of the storm, the widespread nature of the damage and the hundreds of separate areas of the electrical system that need repair. There are more than 700 locations where repairs still need to be made.
Getting the lights back on
Full restoration for some customers will take as long as the end of the day Thursday. We expect to restore 80 percent of affected customers by 11 p.m. Wednesday. We expect to restore 98 percent of affected customers by 11 p.m. Thursday.
We are making free ice and water available for customers in the areas most hard hit. Information is posted on our website at www.pplelectric.com.
Benefits of Smart Grid and tree-trimming on display
It’s safe to say that last night’s storms would have had a more significant and lasting impact were it not for Smart Grid technology we continue to install and stepped up efforts to trim trees. Smart Grid technology helped contribute to our ability to restore so many customers – about 60 percent of those affected by the storm – overnight. It enabled our operators to detect outages and reroute power remotely. As significant as this storm was for our customers, it would also have been worse if we had not been doing more tree trimming over the past few years.
We appreciate your continued patience as we continue to restore power. Please remember to be safe and stay away from any wires brought down by this storm. Report any downed wires or outages to us at 1-800-342-5775 or at pplelectric.com.