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Forum to assess electric utilities' response to Superstorm Sandy

Written by Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania | Jan 7, 2013 4:01 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Many midstate utilities are set to meet in Harrisburg this week to assess how well they responded to Superstorm Sandy, which caused power outages and damaged infrastructure when it slammed the East Coast last year. 

Downed trees following Hurricane Sandy

The state Public Utility Commission is holding a public forum Thursday to discuss how prepared companies were to face the storm, which cut off power to about 141,000 central Pennsylvania consumers at its height.

PUC Spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher says many utilities hoped to be better prepared for Sandy after an October snowstorm, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee battered the region in 2011. "We had put certain changes into place, whether that was different types of preparations that needed to take place, or even changes in how the utilities were expected to communicate to customers. We want to do a full review of what was implemented, what wasn't implemented, how it worked, and where we need to go from here to continue to improve the response."

Kocher says among PPL, PECO, and Met-Ed customers, Superstorm Sandy caused roughly double the damage to wires compared to several severe weather events from two years ago.

She adds the public won't be able to comment at the meeting, but customers can file complaints if they want to bring attention to any issues.

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