FirstEnergy offers tips for potential storm with high winds


Staff Report

AKRON

FirstEnergy Corp’s 10 utility companies, including Ohio Edison, which provides electricity to thousands of customers in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, say they are ready for the potentially dangerous weather event that could bring sustained high winds with powerful gusts this weekend.

And the energy company has offered tips to customers on how to weather the storm.

The storm was predicted to move through Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey through the weekend into Monday, according to a FirstEnergy news release.

In addition to winds possibly exceeding 50 mph, thunderstorms and areas of accumulating snow are possible with passage of the cold front.

The National Weather Service in Cleveland predicted relatively calm weather with a 100 percent chance of precipitation tonight and a southeast wind of 11 to 15 mph with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Sunday, temperatures and the winds will both rise, according to the National Weather Service, producing temperatures of 53 degrees by 8 a.m. and falling to about 35 by afternoon.

Dangerous winds out of the west are predicted to carry gusts as high as 65 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent, but little or no snow accumulation is expected.

Sunday night, a west wind of 22 to 31 mph is predicted with gusts as high as 50 mph. The storm is expected to die down somewhat Monday, but already wet ground could be saturated with heavy rains followed by high winds into Monday, a combination that can cause trees to be uprooted. Also, the heavy winds have the potential to make it unsafe for workers to use bucket trucks or ladders to do overhead repair work, which could delay power restoration efforts,” said Sam Belcher, president of FirstEnergy Utilities.

Customers left without power after the storm are encouraged to call 1-888-544-4877 to report their outage or click the “Report Outage” link on www.firstenergycorp.com and are

cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.

Also keep electronic devices fully charged, have a flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries, blankets or a sleeping bag for each person and do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources indoors, as they could release deadly carbon monoxide gas into your home.

Those with water wells and pumps, should keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.

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