CLEVELAND — Downed power lines scattered across Cleveland showed their potential to do harm when a 12-year-old was injured on Thursday.
Now Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has urged families in his city to refrain from trick-or-treating.
“This decision comes out of an abundance of caution to help keep our residents and children safe from harm as we work to resolve the fallout from Hurricane Sandy,” said Mayor Jackson. “We will continue to work to identify and mitigate risks from power lines and restore power to our residents.”
Many cities in northeast Ohio rescheduled trick-or-treating due to inclement weather brought on by Superstorm Sandy this week.
Days after the storm swept through, FirstEnergy identified hundreds of locations that could potentially pose a risk due to downed wires.
Instead of trick-or-treating, Cleveland families with children twelve and under are invited to attend the Big City Boo celebration held at city rec centers from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday.
Regarding the power lines, Mayor Jackson called on FirstEnergy to establish a plan to assess the damage and eliminate the risk as soon as possible.
FirstEnergy and Cleveland Public Power said on Thursday that 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.
“It just takes a long time in the process,” said Dennis Chack, president of FirstEnergy Ohio Utilities. “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.”
FirstEnergy said it is aggressively working to address some 900 remaining reports of downed wires across the CEI service area and has 269 hazard teams responding to the reports.
Gasia Thomas, 12, was hospitalized in critical condition after coming into contact with a power line around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.
It happened near her home on E. 130th Street and Iroquois Avenue.
“Our prayers continue for the young girl’s recovery and for strength for her families and friends during this difficult time,” FirstEnergy said in a statement.
Thomas’ doctor said the girl’s heart stopped beating for several minutes when she grabbed the live power line, and had to be resuscitated. She had severe burns on portions of her body and suffered severe shock.