CLEARFIELD – The high winds that began sweeping across Central Pennsylvania Wednesday evening have caused many power outages.
According to Penelec Area Manager John Shimko, the outages began around 8:00 p.m. Wednesday and have continued to occur overnight.
Penelec company wide power interruptions have affected more than 60,000 customers. As of 6:00 a.m. Thursday, power had been restored to about 20,000 of those affected customers.
Locally, the breakdown is as follows.
Area-Total Affected-Restored-Still Out
Penelec’s highest priority has been to locate public safety hazards and de-energize any downed wires. Damage assessment and making sure all downed wires are de-energized is the top priority. Winds are expected to gust at up to 50 MPH throughout the day on Thursday and additional damage is likely. As damage assessments are completed, service restoration will take place. Critical customers such as hospitals and nursing homes receive the highest restoration priority, followed by the largest numbers of affected customers.
Penelec thanks customers for their patience and understanding while we work to restore power. Also please stay away from all downed wires as they may be energized and dangerous.
For customers who remain without power, Penelec offers the following tips.
• Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer. A full freezer can keep food frozen for up to three days if it’s kept closed.
• Unplug major appliances until after the power has been restored. Keep one light connected so you will know when the power is back on.
• Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
• Burning candles should never be left unattended in a house.
• Gasoline-powered generators should never be operated inside a home or attached garage.
• Call 1-888-544-4877 (1-888-LIGHTSS) to report your outage – it’s the fastest way to begin the restoration process.