Power Companies Ask Customers for Patience

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CLEVELAND -- The job of restoring power to thousands of homes and businesses in Cleveland is complex and painstaking because of the magnitude of the damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy.

That was the message FirstEnergy and Cleveland Public Power had for Mayor Frank Jackson and council members at a meeting at City Hall on Thursday morning.

Dennis Chack, president of FirstEnergy Ohio Utilities, said, "It just takes a long time in the process.  We have multiple poles down, multiple lines, trees down and it just takes a long time to go at this, to get the restoration done."

*Click here for a list of estimated power restoration times ...

At the height of the storm, more than 300,000 customers lost power, and an estimated 88,000 remain in the dark. The utility companies say they are aware that some of those frustrated customers are not sure if FirstEnergy or CPP are even aware of their plight.

"The message to them is call to our call centers, you know we document that, we know that they have no lights then,” said Chack. “And it goes into our system, so that we can go through the process and make sure we get their lights back on."

*To notify FirstEnergy of outages, call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)*

The power companies and city officials are asking customers to be patient, and to consider the plight of those much less fortunate.

Mayor Frank Jackson told Fox 8, "Whenever it's happening to you, it is the worst thing in the world, but when you look at what's happening in New York and New Jersey, we're in rapid recovery."

Chack added, "The last customer probably won't feel that way and I apologize, but our goal is the same, get the lights back on as soon as we can in a safe manner to them."

FirstEnergy said some customers could be without power until Sunday, or even Monday.

*Read more on Sandy's aftermath here ...