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Utilities wrap up Sandy restoration work

By , - Last modified: November 6, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Utilities said they restored electricity to virtually all of the midstate within three days after Hurricane Sandy and to most of the rest of the state as of today.

Metropolitan Edison Co. said it restored power to the majority of its Hanover-area and York-area customers by Wednesday night and the remainder by Friday evening. Its Lebanon County customers were mostly restored by Thursday and the remainder by Saturday night.

Met-Ed said it expected power to be restored to all its Pennsylvania customers by early this week. As of this morning, about 12,000 customers remained without power, primarily in Berks, Bucks, Monroe, Northampton and Pike counties, according to the company's website.

Met-Ed listed several counties as having a single customer outage, including Dauphin and York counties. Those could be new or existing outages, and could be residential or commercial, said Scott Surgeoner, a spokesman for Met-Ed parent company First Energy.

In all, more than 370,000 Met-Ed customers statewide were affected by the storm, according to the company's preliminary data.

PPL Electric Utilities Corp. said almost all of its Harrisburg-area and Lancaster-area customers had power restored by Thursday morning. Its northcentral and eastern Pennsylvania customers mostly had power restored by Friday night and Sunday night, respectively.

As of this morning, PPL was reporting only scattered outages, the largest concentrations being 629 customers without power in Lehigh County and 441 without power in Bucks County. More than 400,000 PPL customers lost power due to Sandy, the company said.

Both utilities used thousands of contract workers from other states to bolster their restoration efforts. Met-Ed roughly tripled its workforce from about 650 to 2,000, Surgeoner said. PPL said it had more than 5,000 employees involved.

The midstate's natural-gas infrastructure was not affected, UGI Utilities Inc. spokesman Joseph Swope said.

Sandy shut down businesses and government offices across Pennsylvania as it raged from Monday into Tuesday morning, but the state was largely spared the devastation seen in New York and New Jersey. The storm caused insured losses of $7 billion to $15 billion, according to an estimate by risk-modeling firm AIR Worldwide.

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