SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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JCP&L Crews Restore Service to 60 Percent of Customers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Nov. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), with the largest complement of line and forestry crews in its history, has restored power to 60 percent of 1.2 million customers affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Since yesterday, crews restored power to 125,000 customers.  Another 135,000 are expected to be restored by Monday.

More than 700,000 customers have had power restored since the massive storm passed.  About 470,000 customers remain without power, most of whom live in Morris, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

About 6,800 professionals, including 3,500 linemen and 1,400 forestry workers, are focused on restoring power to the remaining customers. An additional 200 linemen are expected today and tomorrow.

"Our response to Hurricane Sandy is the largest mobilization of crews and manpower in the history of JCP&L.  Before the storm, we amassed an army of linemen and have doubled their number as more resources became available.  State and federal agencies also are helping us respond to the people of New Jersey," said Don Lynch, President of JCP&L.  "Everyone at JCP&L understands the hardships and frustration of extended power outages.  That is why we continue to accept all resources to bring our region's electricity back quickly and safely."

JCP&L continues to focus on completing restoration to police and fire departments, water and sewage treatment plants, hospitals, schools, and gas stations.  Many of these priority customers require extensive repairs to connect.  For customers still without power, JCP&L set up charging stations for cell phones and tablet computers at locations where free ice and water also are being distributed.

Many of the remaining customers will be restored by Wednesday, November 7.  Customers in harder-hit areas can expect to be restored throughout the following week.  In some areas where roads, infrastructure, homes and businesses were destroyed, restoration is currently impossible.

Crews have repaired transmission lines that feed local substations.  The 34.5 kilovolt (kV) circuits in the entire northern JCP&L region, stretching from Mercer County to Sussex County, were expected to be restored by this evening.  JCP&L crews were working with transmission linemen supplied by FEMA to restore the 34.5 kV circuits in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction in the JCP&L service area.  More than 800 utility poles are being replaced.  More than 21,000 trees have been cut and removed already from JCP&L equipment since the hurricane struck New Jersey on Monday.  Crews are replacing approximately 3,400 sections of wire and 300 transformers.

Go to https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/outages_help/Sandy/njoutagescounty.html for a county-by-county list outlining the number of JCP&L customers who remain without power, how many have been restored, and how many were affected by power outages from Hurricane Sandy.

As debris from the storm is being cleared, customers are cautioned never to touch downed lines.  Customers should always assume downed wires are carrying electricity and are reminded to keep children and pets away from them.  Downed wires should be reported immediately to your electric company or local police or fire department.   Customers should never try to remove trees or limbs from power lines because they could conduct electricity.  They should wait for emergency services or utility crews to arrive.

To report an outage, customers should call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) – it's the fastest way to begin the restoration process.  Customers are reminded that even if they do not see crews working in their neighborhood, work could be under way at a nearby substation or other location that serves the neighborhood.

Customers also are reminded to stay clear of crews as they assess damage and repair equipment.  By allowing crews to work, the restoration of power will be faster and people will remain safe.

Customers with mobile devices can obtain updated information on current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe.  Customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages, or follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L and Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL for the latest information.

To ensure the safety of the home's occupants as well as that of utility company employees who may be working on power lines in the area, the proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician.  When operating a generator, always disconnect the power coming into your home.  Otherwise, power from your generator could be sent back onto the utility company lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.

For updated information on hurricane restoration news, current outages, FirstEnergy's storm restoration process and tips for staying safe after a storm, go to www.firstenergycorp.com.

JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE).  JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers in 13 New Jersey counties.

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence.  Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.  Its generation subsidiaries control more than 20,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

(110412)

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

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