Reading, Pa. – Two vandalism incidents, one involving electrical equipment damaged with a gunshot, the other involving an electrical switch being changed from an automatic to manual setting, caused more than 1,500 Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) customers in the Clearfield area to experience power interruptions Monday.
Service was restored by company employees working in the Clearfield area as part of Penelec’s work-continuation plan that was implemented May 21 after members of IBEW Local 459 went on strike. The vandalism was reported to law enforcement agencies and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
“Providing reliable service to our customers is a top priority,” said Penelec Regional President James R. Napier. “To help prevent similar incidents from causing service interruptions we are asking customers to report any suspicious behavior they see around our facilities. In addition to the equipment damage, employees also discovered boards spiked with nails at one of the sites. These incidents do not appear to be random and we will not tolerate malicious acts that put our customers and employees at risk.”
Customers can report any suspicious behavior by calling Penelec at 1-800-545-7741.
Monday’s incidents mark the second time Penelec has reported major damage in the Clearfield area caused by vandals. On May 29, in the midst of a severe thunderstorm, a Penelec radio tower and other electrical equipment was damaged.
Penelec, an electric utility operating company of Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), serves approximately 590,000 customers in 31 Pennsylvania counties.