By Mike Dougherty
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- High winds from last night's storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people, and many outages remained Wednesday morning.
As of 9am, more than 50,000 PSE&G customers remained without power, and AC Electric reported 149,959 customers without power.
In Philadelphia and the suburbs, there were 134,932 PECO customers without power.
"We have seen a significant amount of outages related to the high winds," said PECO spokeswoman Liz Williamson this morning. "We're seeing a lot of downed wires, downed branches and trees as well."
She said not to assume the electric company is aware of your outage -- call to report it.
Meanwhile, in Delaware, Delmarva Power reported 63,000 customers in Delaware and nearby Maryland without power as of Tuesday night.
This morning, Wilmington, Del. police issued an advisory warning Verizon cell phone service customers that "due to an unforeseen outage, Verizon cellphone customers cannot make any police emergency, non-mmergency, or administrative calls from their cell phones. Verizon is making every effort to correct the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Please make sure you have an alternative way to contact the police in case of emergency."
Chester County, Pa. officials likewise warned of a Verizon outage affecting customers in our area, saying that Verizon calls made to a landline phone were receiving busy signals, including calls made to 911. "Calls made from Verizon cell phones will only work when dialing another Verizon cell phone customer," officials said. Verizon cell users in Chester County were urged to text 911 in an emergency if their calls to 911 were unable to connect.
Later this morning, Gloucester County, NJ and the Red Cross said they would be opening two "reception centers" today at 12 noon, where residents can charge their phones, get water bottles and snacks, and contact their insurance companies. They will be held at the County Government Services Building in Clayton (1200 N. Delsea Drive), and the Mt. Royal Fire Department in East Greenwich (County House Road and Kings Highway).
And later on Wednesday afternoon, Delaware officials announced cell service had reportedly been restored in the tri-state area:
"Cell providers advised our State 9-1-1 office that the outage issue impacting cellular calls this morning was resolved and cellular service has been stored in our area," said the Del. Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Meanwhile, Atlantic City Electric announced on its Facebook page that it is bringing in out-of-state workers to help restore power to customers in the region, but added that it expects the process to go on for several days. About 100,000 of the approximately 250,000 customers affected by the outage had their power restored as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
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