PARMA, Ohio– (WJW)– The first major winter storm of the season wreaked havoc across Northeast Ohio as the heavy wet snow toppled trees and branches that took down power lines across the region.
“We heard this loud boom, couldn’t figure out what it was. We got up and looked outside and this tree here, you see where it broke off, tore the wire off, pulled everything off the house,” said Richard Toth, of Parma.
The 79-year-old and his wife were without power and heat all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning. They spent a lot of time in front of their fire place, but as the hours started to pass, they started to worry.
“Concerned about the heat in the house, the pipes freezing, what we were going to do, you know. I think we lost a lot of stuff in the refrigerator,” Toth said.
Late Wednesday morning, a lineman from FirstEnergy and an electrical contractor were able to restore power to the homes of the Toths and one of their neighbors.
“Yes! We’re back in, feel good now.”
There are so many downed power lines down across the region, that FirstEnergy is warning residents, that in some cases, it could take until 11 p.m. Thursday to restore their power. At the height of the storm, 155,000 customers lost power, and crews have been working around the clock to get them back online.
The utility has brought in additional crews from out of state to help.
“We’re looking at a lot of localized issues, which are the most time consuming repairs because they require crews to go put to each job location to restore power and that job may only restore power to one or 20 people. So there’s just a lot of those types of jobs in our bucket,” said FirstEnergy spokeswoman Lauren Siburkis.
Toth said he commiserates with those who remain in the dark.
“I feel back for them, I really do, because it’s not easy.”
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