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As Hurricane Sandy moves up the East Coast, FirstEnergy is getting its workers and resources ready to help restore power after the storm strikes.

In New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, Hurricane Sandy is expected to produce torrential rain and high winds, along with inland and coastal severe flooding. Wet snow and high winds are forecasted for Ohio, western Maryland, West Virginia and central Pennsylvania.

Northeast Ohio is under a High Wind Warning until 4 p.m. Tuesday. We could see 60-70 mph wind gusts. We also have a Flood Watch in effect until Tuesday evening and a Lakeshore Flood Warning for Erie, Lorain, Cuyahoga, Lake and Ashtabula counties through 8 p.m. Tuesday. The south shore of Lake Erie is expected to rise 3 inches. Combined with 15+ foot waves,the storm will cause flooding and erosion on the shoreline. I-90 may be impacted in Cleveland.

“We have mobilized our internal crews and support personnel to assist in the restoration process if the storm causes large-scale power outages,” said Steven Strah, vice president of distribution support for the utility. “We have secured outside utility crews, electrical contractors and tree contractors and continue our efforts to locate even more line crews from other utilities through our membership in mutual assistance organizations.”

FirstEnergy customer call centers will be fully staffed. If you’re without power, you can call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report the outage or click the “Report Outage” link online at

While many local stores, Lowe’s and Home Depot, are sold out of generators, if you do already have one, you should make sure it’s selected and installed by a qualified, licensed electrician.

When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers and the public.

In addition, generators should only be used outdoors and only in well-ventilated areas.

For updated information on the company’s storm preparation efforts, current outages, FirstEnergy’s storm restoration process and tips for staying safe, visit

Depending on the severity of the storm’s impact on the electrical system, customers are encouraged to stay safe by preparing for the possibility of power outages lasting up 10 days:

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