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PECO Says Some Power May Not Be Restored Until This Weekend

By Mike DeNardo

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (CBS) -- PECO crews were swamped today, trying to restore power to more than a half-million customers who were cut off by Wednesday morning's ice storm.

It was a massive undertaking at the PECO operations center in Plymouth Meeting (Montgomery County), where supervisors coordinated crews who were being dispatched throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.

As of 1:30pm, the utility listed more than 600,000 homes and businesses without electricity (see the numbers).

Because there were so many people without power over such a large area, PECO said today it would be a multiple-day effort to get everyone restored. Officials said some people may not get their electric service back until the weekend.

And because of that, officials said, some customers may be tempted to move power lines that had fallen, perhaps blocking in their car or restricting access to their home. But PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engel-Menendez warns, don't do it!

"Even if the power is off in their house or in their neighborhood, that damaged piece of equipment is connected to a much broader electric system that's energized somewhere else. So we always need customers to assume that all equipment is energized and stay away from it," she explained.

PECO was telling the homes and businesses without power to be ready for a long haul before getting their lights back on.

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