Electricity restored to thousands; many others still without

Met-Ed, PPL offer free water, ice to customers without power

Electricity restored to thousands; many others still without

The fierce power of Hurricane Irene is still leaving thousands in the dark.

A half-million homes, schools and businesses -- 200,000 for Met-Ed and 300,000 for PPL -- lost power in the 69 News viewing area because of Hurricane Irene.

People at 21st and Tilghman streets in Allentown were happy Monday because their power was restored.

For some other people, the lights may not come back on until as late as Thursday.

Dispatchers for the power companies said their crews are working around the clock, but are still asking customers to be patient.

The phones were ringing off the hook at the PPL dispatch center in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County.

Many callers asked the same question. When will electricity be restored?

"We have just a tremendous amount of cleanup," said Michael Wood, spokesperson for PPL. "Electric repairs that need to be done, downed trees, and broken utility poles." 

PPL said it originally had 300,000 customers lose power in 29 counties across Pennsylvania.

Some 200,000 have had their power restored, and more should be back on line by the end of Monday night.

"We expect over the course of Monday we'll restore 60,000 customers," said Wood.

Met-Ed customers should also be seeing a flicker of electricity.

A company spokesperson said Met-Ed is down to 65,000 customers without power. and the crews are working as fast as possible.

Many crews are working 16-hour shifts, and some are from out of state.

Now electric companies are asking customers for a little more patience.

"From the very beginning we want to let people know that this would be an extended effort over three to five days so that they could take the steps appropriate in their own situations," said Wood.

Here's the breakdown of power outages by county, as of 4:30 p.m. Monday:

- Berks: 11,761 Met-Ed and 725 PPL

- Carbon: 2,404 PPL

- Hunterdon, N.J.: 20,374 JCP&L

- Lehigh: 747 Met-Ed and 15,230 PPL

- Monroe: 11,187 Met-Ed and 16,531 PPL

- Northampton: 4,219 Met-Ed and 4,554 PPL

- Schuylkill: 5,681 PPL

- Warren, N.J.: 7,398 JCP&L

For updates on Met-Ed outages, click here. To report a power outage, call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).

For updates on PPL outages, click here. To report a power outage, call 1-800-DIAL PPL.

For updates on JCP&L outages, click here. To report a power outage, call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).

Met-Ed and PPL are also offering their customers without electricity free ice and water.

Met-Ed customers can go to the customer service counter of Redner's stores in Ontelaunee Township, Lower Alsace Township, Wyomissing, Exeter Township, Sinking Spring, Muhlenberg Township, Kenhorst and Tilden Township, identify themselves as a Met-Ed customer and ask for two bags of ice and three one-gallon jugs of water per day. No Identification is required.

PPL customers without power who are interested in free water and ice and click here for more information.

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