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Widespread power outage reported; cooling stations opened

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jul 22, 2011 at 3:36 PM

(UPDATED at 3:35 p.m.) About 3,600 Firelands Electric Cooperative consumers in Ashland and Richland counties are currently affected by a First Energy/Ohio Edison transmission power outage that occurred at 11:40 a.m. today (Friday).

Firelands’ Ashland, Coulter, Mifflin and Jeromesville substations are currently left without power due to a failure of First Energy’s high voltage transmission lines, which deliver electric power to Firelands Electric’s local system.

First Energy reports a transmission line overload in the Ontario area is at the root of the outage, and says the failed transmission line is located near the former General Motors plant in Ontario, Richland County.

First Energy/Ohio Edison area manager, Dan Deville, confirmed that rising electricity usage, because of rising temperatures, overpowered a main 138 kV transmission line. The reason the line was brought off-line is because of the excessive amount of power that has been drawn by customers in Richland and Ashland counties," says Dan Deville.

First Energy crews are working on correcting the problem, and Firelands line crews have been dispatched to assist in restoring power. Area residents should go to local areas with power and air conditioning to avoid heat illness. They can also utilize cooling centers.

Ashland County E. M. A. reports three cooling stations are open in Ashland County:

· Salvation Army Kroc Center, 527 E. Liberty St., Ashland. (419) 281-8001. Location will remain open until 11 p.m.

· Ashland County Council on Aging, 240 East 3rd Street, Ashland. (419) 281-1477. Location will remain open until 4:30 p.m., and transportation is available for Seniors by contacting the Council on Aging at (419) 281-1477.

Richland County E.M.A. reports two cooling stations are open in Richland County:

· E.M.A. Cooling Shelter, 597 Park Avenue E. , Mansfield. (419) 774-5686

· Ashland County Council on Aging, 780 Park Ave. W., Mansfield. (800) 860-5799.

If a Firelands member is without power, they’re encouraged to contact the office at 1-800-533-8658. Outage updates are available at ther website http://www.firelandsec.com/outag... and the Facebook and Twitter pages.

Firelands Electric Cooperative, A Touchstone Energy Partner, is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility serving approximately 9,000 homes and businesses in rural areas of Ashland, Huron, Lorain and Richland counties.

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