As the remnants of Hurricane Sandy move away Tuesday and winds subside, PPL Electric Utilities is working in full force, assessing damage from the devastating storm and making repairs at hundreds of locations across its service territory, according to a release from the utility.
As of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, service had been restored to about 70,000 customers since the start of the storm with a goal of increasing that total to about 100,000 by the end of the day. About 373,000 customers were without power at mid-afternoon across the utility’s 10,000-square-mile service area in central and eastern Pennsylvania. Due to the scope of the tree and line damage, some customers could be out of service for several days and possibly up to a week or more. Restoration updates are available at www.pplelectric.com.
So far today, the company has been patrolling areas affected and dispatching priority cases for restoration.
The first priority is being given to public health and safety facilities and trouble cases reported by local 911 centers, as well as damage to transmission and substation facilities that feed large numbers of customers.
More than 4,300 people are supporting all aspects of the restoration effort, including about 2,000 from PPL Electric Utilities. About 1,600 utility workers from various states in the South and Midwest, including from the company’s sister utilities in Kentucky, also are on hand to help perform repairs. And more are on the way.
Damage assessments across the region are underway, and information gathered from those patrols is a key factor in being able to establish estimated restoration times. In addition to crews on the ground, assessments also are being conducted by helicopter.
“As expected, this storm had widespread, significant impact on our system, but I can promise our customers we will be relentless in our efforts to restore power as safely and as quickly as possible,” said David Bonenberger, vice president of Distribution Operations for the utility. “It could take as long as through the weekend to get everyone restored to service.”
Customers who have not yet reported outages are asked to call 1-800-DIAL-PPL (1-800-342-5775) or report online at www.pplelectric.com. The outage website is adapted for mobile phones.
“If you have reported your outage, then be assured we know about it and are working on it,” Bonenberger said. “Repeated calls will tie up lines for other customers trying to reach us to report their outage. Everyone who reports an outage and has signed up for PPL Alerts will get updates when more information is available.”
PPL Electric Utilities remains in close contact with the state Public Utility Commission, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, county emergency management agencies and local officials, as well as regional utilities to share information and coordinate efforts.
PPL Electric Utilities reminds its customers to stay safe and be watchful for downed power lines. Please report downed power lines by calling 1-800-DIAL-PPL. Always assume power lines are energized, keep a safe distance and keep children and pets away as well.