Unexpected high winds that moved through northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 14, interrupted electric service to approximately one million customers of FirstEnergy Corp.'s Ohio Edison and Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company subsidiaries in Ohio, and Penn Power and Penelec subsidiaries in western Pennsylvania. These high winds, generated by the remnants of Hurricane Ike, caused downed branches, trees and power lines throughout the region. Due to the widespread damage to electrical facilities, it could take several days for complete power restoration in some areas.

Crews have already restored power to about half of the customers affected by the storm, but still have thousands of locations where repairs need to be made. Because safety remains a top priority, crews are responding to downed wire reports at about 12,000 sites, making those sites safe before restoring service.

All available crews are working to restore service in the hardest-hit areas of Cleveland, Akron, Springfield and Youngstown in Ohio and Erie, Pa. As of 10:00 a.m. today, some 500,000 customers in these areas remain without power. Crews from FirstEnergy's Toledo Edison, Met-Ed and Jersey Central Power & Light subsidiaries are en route to assist company crews restoring service in the affected areas.