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Valley News Dispatch

Thousands in Western Pa. still without power, some might not be restored until Wednesday

Emily Balser
| Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, 6:54 p.m.
FILE- In this Aug. 14, 2018, file photo power transmission lines carry electricity along the Interstates 40 and I-85 corridor in Orange County near Hillsborough, N.C. Despite a strong economy, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet one of their basic needs last year, according to a new study by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization. That includes paying for food, health care, housing or utilities. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
FILE- In this Aug. 14, 2018, file photo power transmission lines carry electricity along the Interstates 40 and I-85 corridor in Orange County near Hillsborough, N.C. Despite a strong economy, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet one of their basic needs last year, according to a new study by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization. That includes paying for food, health care, housing or utilities. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Thousands of residents in Butler and Armstrong counties will likely remain without power until Monday afternoon — and some may have to wait until as late as Wednesday — as crews continue to work on downed lines.

West Penn Power spokesman Todd Meyers said about 95 percent of customers were expected to have their power restored by 11 p.m. Sunday, but the remaining 5 percent, or just under 3,000 customers, would likely have to wait until Monday.

About 7,500 remained without power in Butler and Armstrong as of about 6 a.m. Monday.

Just under 200 were still left without power in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

Most have been without power since Thursday night or early Friday. Rain and snow that fell Thursday and early Friday felled trees and power lines across the region.

Meyers said Butler and Armstrong counties were the worst hit areas in Western Pennsylvania.

Central Electric Cooperative reported Monday morning they were continuing to restore power to about 5,900 members without service, with 3,500 of those members in Armstrong and Butler counties. They couldn't provide any information on specific restoration times, but some customers could have to wait until Wednesday.

Central Electric Cooperative is an investor-owned power company where each member is part-owner. It serves about 25,000 members in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Forest, Mercer and Venango counties.

The company had to wait until West Penn Power got some of its damaged substations up and running before they could assess their own line damage. They receive power through those substations, but maintain their own lines.

“That process was not able to be implemented until 5:30 this morning,” said spokesman Ken Maleski on Sunday night.

Duquesne Light was reporting at 8:30 p.m. Sunday only 52 customers remained without power.

The Butler Area School District canceled school Monday due to the power outages.

Meyers said West Penn Power has at least 500 linemen and support technicians working in Butler County alone where than two dozen major lines that feed into substations that power smaller lines were affected.

“I understand people’s frustrations,” Meyers said. “All these things are interconnected.”

West Penn Power and Penn Power customers who are still without power can pick up 2 gallons of bottled water and two bags of ice for free at these locations:

  • Slippery Rock Giant Eagle Supermarket, 223 Grove City Road
  • Buffalo Twp. Giant Eagle Supermarket, 100 Buffalo Plaza
  • Seven Fields Giant Eagle Supermarket, 206 Seven Fields Blvd.
  • Cranberry Giant Eagle Supermarket, 20111 Route 19
  • Wexford Giant Eagle Supermarket, 9805 McKnight Road
  • New Castle Giant Eagle Supermarket, 3230 Wilmington Road

“We’re working hard to get everyone back on,” Meyers said. “These are estimates and we provide the estimates to provide people a realistic picture of what could happen.”

The outage numbers are updated continually on the West Penn Power website www.firstenergycorp.com .

Central Electric Cooperative identified these locations that had set up warming centers for customers still without power:

  • Adams Township Fire Department: 645 Route 228, Mars PA 16046; 724-625-1210
  • Herman Fire Department: 789 Herman Road, Butler PA 16002; 724-287-0836
  • Connoquenessing Borough Fire Department: 180 Main Street, Connoquenessing PA 16027; 724-789-9335
  • Middlesex Township Volunteer Fire Department: 130 Browns Hill Road, Valencia PA 16059; 724-898-1480
  • Forward Township Municipal Building: 207 Ash Stop Road, Evans City PA 16033; 724-538-9251
  • North Washington Social Hall: 2225 Oneida Valley Rd, Petrolia PA 16050

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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