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Widespread Power Outages Expected to Continue Through Weekend
(Photo captured along Riverside Drive in Oil City, Venango County. Courtesy Trisha Balmer.)
Sporadic winter weather began to impact the region Thursday morning and continued through Friday afternoon resulting in fallen trees, downed utility poles and various other weather-related issues.
The number of outages in the region reported by FirstEnergy has dipped from approximately 40,000 down to 32,000 as of Saturday at 8:30 a.m., including 22,555 in Butler County, 2,666 in Armstrong County, 1656 in Clarion County, 123 in Indiana County, 493 in Mercer County, 24 in Venango County, 68 in Crawford County, and 8 in Jefferson County.
While First Energy expects service to be restored for some customers on Saturday, many others will have to wait until as late as Sunday evening.
Additionally, Central Electric Cooperative crews continue to restore power to approximately 14,000 members without service.
That number has dropped from the 16,400 outages reported on Friday evening.
Fredericksburg and Cowansville substations have power restored from West Penn Power. Crews are making progress to restore service in those areas, but seven other cooperative substations supplied by West Penn Power remain in the dark.
All Central Electric crews, along with outside help from three other Pennsylvania cooperatives, continue working to restore outages throughout the weekend.
“Crews from three other Pennsylvania cooperatives have joined efforts with all available CEC crews. They will continue working over the weekend to restore power to cooperative members,” said Ken Maleski, CEC Manager of Communication & Public Relations.
“Our first priority remains the safety of our employees, members and the public, followed by timely restoration of all power.”
United Electric is reporting an additional 91 outages in Jefferson County – an increase of 45 outages since Friday evening.
Pa. State Representative Donna Oberlander said on Friday that her office has remained in contact with the local utility companies, along with county emergency management personnel regarding warming shelters in the affected communities.
“Warming shelters are being set up in Limestone and Hawthorn, and we expect warming shelters to also be set up in the Parker, Dayton, Belmont, Sugar Creek and Rural Valley areas,” said Oberlander.
The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh is forecasting a slight chance of rain and snow showers between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. followed by a slight chance of snow showers after 5:00 p.m. Scattered snow showers and rain are possible this evening. Little or no snow accumulation expected. The high for the day is 35 degrees.
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