Peco restores power to a record number

Posted: November 01, 2012

As of late afternoon, Peco still had 200,000 customers left to reconnect - more than got knocked off line by a wicked line of thunderstorms in July.

But the number of restorations following the heartless havoc of Hurricane Sandy has already shattered the record.

About 650,000 homes and businesses who lost power have it again, far exceeding the tally after a 1994 ice storm caused 520,000 outages.

Count the three nearest South Jersey counties, and suburban Pennsylvania customers of two other utilities, and the cumulative outage total for the eight-county area was roughly 1 million.

Counting Peco, the local outage tally stood at about a quarter-million this afternoon.

Hardest hit was clearly Bucks County, with nearly 136,000 still out, including 110,000 Peco customers. Next was Montgomery County with 75,500, including 68,000 for Peco. The others are customers of PPL Electric or First Energy's Met Ed.

Together, the two counties had at least 400,000 addresses lose power - or about 40 percent of the area's total.

Peco's afternoon outage count included 9,000 in Philadelphia, 8,000 in Chester Country, and 5,000 in Delaware County. Met Ed had another 940 out in Chester County. Each of those three counties had more than 65,000 customers off-line as of Monday morning.

Across the river in South Jersey, Camden and Burlington Counties still had about 10,000 outages each this morning, mostly with PSE&G, while Gloucester County had more than 2,000, mostly with Atlantic City Electric, this afternoon.

Tuesday morning, the numbers were far higher - 63,000 for Burlington County and 23,000 for Camden County, just for PSE&G.

By Saturday night, Peco hopes to be have nearly 90 percent back in service.

"Only folks in very isolated areas might last into early next week," said spokeswoman Martha Phan.

Peco customers can get an estimated restoration time by calling 1-800-841-4141, the same number to report outages.

As for statewide totals in Pennsylvania, PPL had 174,000 out this afternoon and First Energy had about 95,000, for about 469,000 out - with more than 1 million restored, including Peco.

In New Jersey, more than 1.7 million PSE&G customers lost power, with 781,000 still out late this morning. Jersey Central Power & Light's 814,000 outages and Atlantic City Electric's 65,000, both as of late afternoon, bringing the state total to nearly 1.7 million still in the dark - out of about 2.7 million who lost power.

PSE&G acknowledges that despite having thousands of workers in the field, full restoration might take until the middle of next week.

Between the two states, the latest revisions show more than 4.2 million outages because of Sandy.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or

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