AKRON, Ohio, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) is preparing for the possible impact of high winds and snow predicted to hit parts of its utilities' service territory beginning tonight and continuing through Saturday. While all areas of its six-state service territory could see some impact, current forecasts predict that the most severe weather will occur in the Toledo Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI), and Ohio Edison areas in Ohio and in the higher elevations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
As a result of the weather forecasts, which include the possibility of sustained winds in excess of 50 mph, FirstEnergy utilities have implemented the company's storm preparation process, including notifying employees to be on standby, contacting contractor crews for possible deployment, assessing the need for staging sites, and addressing employee schedule coordination. As part of this process, FirstEnergy crews and support personnel will remain in their respective service areas until the full impact of the potential weather event is known.
"We are keeping a close eye on the weather and will be ready to respond immediately to assist our customers should sustained high winds cause any problems," said Mark Julian, vice president, Utility Operations, FirstEnergy. "FirstEnergy utility companies have addressed the challenges of severe winter weather for more than 100 years and our utility crews and support staff are highly trained to operate in all weather conditions."
Company personnel have participated in conference calls with the mutual assistance groups including the Great Lakes Mutual Assistance and the Southeast Exchange to discuss the possibility of securing outside utility crews should large-scale outages occur. Like FirstEnergy, most utilities in the region are anticipating severe weather and are keeping their crews at home until the full impact of the storm is assessed.