Mon Power outage restoration hampered by severe damage, accessibility challenges

Fairmont, W.Va., July 9, 2012 — Mon Power is continuing its massive, around-the-clock repair efforts to restore the remaining 25,000 customers who lost power from last week's strong storms. The majority of the remaining customers are located in remote areas with severe damage.

Originally, 280,000 Mon Power customers lost power when severe weather hit the region on June 29, 2012. To date about 268,000 — or more than 95 percent — of those customers have been restored. On July 1, 2012, a second storm hit the area and caused an additional 40,000 Mon Power customers to lose power. Overall, more than 320,000 Mon Power customers lost power from last week's severe weather events.

While the majority of affected customers in most counties served by Mon Power should be restored by Wednesday, a few customers in the hardest-hit areas might not be fully restored until later in the week.

More than 6,300 FirstEnergy employees, contractors, and outside utility crewmembers in West Virginia have encountered nearly 27,000 damage locations as a result of the storms. Crews also have responded to more than 13,500 hazard orders to clear downed wires and make the locations safe.

One of the most time-consuming aspects of the outage restoration process is setting a new pole. So far, Mon Power crews have replaced hundreds of poles as a result of storm damage. However, current outage orders indicate that almost 400 poles still need to be replaced.

Mon Power serves nearly 390,000 customers in West Virginia.

FirstEnergy's 10 electric distribution companies comprise one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems. Its generating fleet features nuclear, scrubbed baseload coal, natural gas, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables, and has a total generating capacity of nearly 23,000 MW.

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