Many of us had electric service affected by the devastating weekend snowstorm.
More than 350,000 PPL Electric Utilities’ customers were affected, many of them right here in the Lehigh Valley. This was an extremely destructive storm and ranks among the five worst storms of the past 20 years for PPL Electric Utilities in terms of the number of customer outages.
More than 136,000 Lehigh Valley PPL Electric Utilities customers have had power restored since Saturday afternoon. As of 10 a.m. today (11/2), there were about 18,000 customers without power. Currently dispatched jobs will restore about 9,200 customers. A relatively small number of jobs will continue into Thursday (11/3).
Here’s an informative snapshot of what’s happening to bring all the power back:
• Ten major transmission lines in the Lehigh Valley area were damaged, and most were returned to service Monday. PPL Electric Utilities got the remaining line, a 69-kilovolt line that serves Lehigh University and south Bethlehem, back in service this morning. Transmission lines are the backbone of the electric delivery network, so getting those lines back into service was key.
• We apologize for the frustration some of you experienced trying to reach our customer contact center and in getting accurate power restoration time estimates. At the time of the storm, we were already working on making improvements and are committed to completing that effort to better serve you.
• More than 500 work crews of all types are in the field as part of the round-the-clock effort to restore power.
• As work is finished in less hard-hit areas, resources are being shifted to other areas, including the Lehigh Valley.
• Crews from as far away as Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina and Tennessee have joined the restoration effort.
• In addition to field crews, PPL Electric Utilities has hundreds of additional employees such as customer service reps, system dispatchers and operators, materials handlers and analysts supporting the storm response.
• Free water and ice are available from vendors in hard-hit areas. A list of vendors is posted online at PPL Electric Utilities’ Outage Center at pplelectric.com/outage.
• If you have not already reported your outage, you’re encouraged to do so online at pplelectric.com/outage. You also can call 1-800-342-5775.
Lastly, remember safety as restoration efforts continue. Avoid downed power lines. Remember to run generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas and use flashlights instead of candles to reduce fire risk.