Weekend Power-Outages Caused by Gunfire

READING – Three vandalism incidents – each involving electrical equipment damaged with gunshots – caused more than 5,500 Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) customers in the Clearfield area to experience power interruptions late Friday into Saturday.

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 local police, Pennsylvania State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security, the United States Department of Energy, and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

“We will not tolerate malicious acts that put our customers and employees at risk,” said Penelec Regional President James R. Napier. “In an effort to help prevent similar incidents from causing service interruptions we are offering up to a $10,000 reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved with Friday’s incidents. This type of behavior serves no purpose, is unfair to our customers who deserve
reliable electric service, and should not reflect on the vast majority of our hard-working employees who are dedicated to our customers every day.”

Customers can report any suspicious behavior by calling Penelec at a special, tollfree number – 1-800-392-1382, or by calling their local police.

Friday’s incidents mark the third time Penelec equipment in the Clearfield area has been damaged by vandals since the strike began on May 21. The latest incidents caused unnecessary customer outages and an oil spill from transformers that were damaged by gunfire. Shell casings were recovered at the scene on Friday evening.

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