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Schuylkill County News

PPL: Power Could Be Out for Days After Snowstorm

More than 25,000 still without power in Schuylkill County and a PPL spokesperson says it could be until Thursday before power is restored.

A spokesperson for PPL Electric says it really could be several days before power is restored across its service area.

As of 4:30 p.m., more than 25,000 PPL Electric customers in Schuylkill County were without power. Outages are widespread, based on an assessment of the utility’s Outage Map.

Estimated Restoration Time updates given by PPL to customers via text message and on its website indicate that it could be until Thursday before power is restored to some people in the area.

The Canary reached out PPL to confirm if this information is accurate. It’s true that it could take until Thursday to get power restored to some but it may be restored sooner to many.

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Tracie Witter, a manager of stakeholder engagement and external communications at PPL, tells The Canary via email, “We’re expecting this to be a multi-day restoration effort. We’re assessing damage and have assigned estimated restoration times (ERTs) for areas in our territory. Because of the scope of repairs, full restoration could take through Thursday for some customers, although many customers will get power restored sooner, as crews work around the clock to repair damage.”

Witter says at 11 a.m. Tuesday, more than 92,000 PPL Electric customers were without power.

At the height of the number of outages, more than 27,000 customers in Schuylkill County were without power.

More than 46,500 customers have had power restored across PPL’s service area, Witter says, and The Canary can confirm that power is being turned back on in some areas of Schuylkill County as we publish this article.

To expedite the power restoration, PPL says it has activated “more than 100 additional resources” to get the job done. Witter says this includes line workers, foresters, damage assessors, electricians and call center staff.

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As these crews are sent to different areas, customers in those areas will likely get updated Estimated Restoration Times.   

As crews are dispatched to specific jobs within each region, customers may receive updated ERTs.

Witter provided this breakdown by region for current estimated restoration (as of 3 p.m. Tuesday):

  • Northeast: This region saw the least amount of damage, so all customers impacted should have individual ERTs with restoration times scattered throughout today.
  • Lehigh: 11 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14
  • Lancaster: 11 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14
  • Central/Susquehanna: 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 15
  • Harrisburg: 11 p.m. on Thursday, February 15

How PPL Calculates Estimated Restoration Times

Witter also provided the following information on how PPL Electric calculates Estimated Restoration Times. This is verbatim from her email:

“Related to estimated repair times on our map, we face hundreds or even thousands of individual repair jobs, and there are several steps before we can provide individual restoration times.

  • We first assess the damage to major infrastructure on the electric grid.
  • We then give our best estimate on when we’ll restore large regions. This is an area restoration time and many customers in that area will have their service restored sooner.
  • As jobs are dispatched, they are assigned individual estimated restoration times.
  • In large storms, multiple repairs at different locations on the power grid may be required to restore your power. If that’s the case, you may receive an estimated time for the first job. After the larger repair is made, we’ll continue to make other repairs, each with their own restoration time, until power is restored to you.
  • Additionally, as crews arrive on-site and begin working on your outage, they may change your estimated restoration time. They could need additional equipment or find the damage is worse than initially thought.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chris

    February 13, 2024 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you for this informative article!

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