FEU Preparing for Powerful Winter Storm

February 1, 2022

FirstEnergy utility personnel are prepared to respond to service interruptions caused by a complex winter storm that is expected to bring heavy snow and damaging ice to Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia this week.

Company meteorologists have been tracking the winter storm for several days. The slow-moving system could bring up to 2 feet of snowfall in western Ohio and a combination of rain, sleet, ice accumulation and snow to central and eastern Ohio, western and central Pennsylvania and far western West Virginia. Minor ice and snow accumulation is possible in the remaining parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as well as Maryland and New Jersey. Localized flooding could occur in areas where rain mixes with melting snow. Precipitation will begin early in the day on Wednesday and continue into Friday for many areas.

“While we invest in our electric system throughout the year to enhance service reliability for customers, significant accumulations of ice and snow have the potential to cause power outages,” said Sam Belcher, senior vice president, Operations. “We understand the challenges of being without power, especially this time of year, and we are taking every step to ensure our crews are prepared to restore electric service to customers impacted by the storm as quickly and safely as possible.”

Our utility companies are implementing storm response plans, which include staffing additional dispatchers, damage assessors and analysts at regional dispatch offices, and arranging to bring in additional line, substation and forestry personnel, as needed, based on the severity of the weather. The company has also notified contractors who work throughout FirstEnergy’s footprint on projects to enhance service reliability for customers to be ready to assist with restoration efforts.

The winter storm is expected to impact a significant portion of the country with areas as far away as Texas already seeing the storm materialize. FirstEnergy has been in contact with mutual assistance groups and, given the widespread nature of the storm, many companies are preparing to restore power in their own footprints. The company will continue to communicate with contractors and electric industry mutual assistance organizations in the coming days to check on additional crews and other resources that are available to assist with restoration efforts.

FirstEnergy representatives have also been in contact with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators and local officials about the company’s storm preparation efforts.