EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The efforts to restore power for tens of thousands in Northeast Ohio continues as customers wait patiently for progress.
Thursday night’s severe weather that includes at least five confirmed tornadoes created outages for more than 200,000 FirstEnergy customers. Massive trees and downed powerlines can still be found all over NE Ohio.
Some communities are being quoted restoration by August 30 at 4 p.m. FirstEnergy Spokeswoman Lauren Siburkis hopes the lights will be on much sooner.
“We are working 24-seven, in 16-hour shifts to get all of our customers back up and running,” Siburkis said.
Cleveland resident Starr Botley and her daughter Brooklyn King had a massive tree fall in their backyard, knocking out power on their entire block. “Power was out for a couple of days,” Botley said. “I have to get the electric box all redone, because it knocked it all down.
Botley said the power being out has been a hassle, but it hasn’t been the biggest concern, as the cost to fix the damage and tree removal will be coming out of pocket.
“That’s life, what can you do? I’m just grateful it didn’t go through my house,” she said.
“It is all hands on deck,” Siburkis said. “So all of our line personnel are on hand working this storm.”
FirstEnergy said it is receiving assistance from about 1,000 additional line workers and support personnel from sister companies and contractors to help speed restoration efforts.
A welcome sign for residents like Karen Stephens, who hasn’t had power for two days.
“I think that’s good, because if they felt they needed to get somebody else in on this to cover us I think that shows a lot of consideration,” Stephens said.
About 40,000 customers remained with out power as of late Saturday night.