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Power Companies On Standby For Possible Power Outages Due To High Winds

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Power companies and first responders are on standby for possible downed trees and power outages.

High winds mean all hands on deck for Duquesne Light. They are adding additional field crews through Saturday in case gusts topple trees and power lines.

DLC officials are anticipating the strongest winds Friday morning into the afternoon.

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"Everyone is on alert, crews are working or they are on standby," said Hollie Geitner, the director of communications for Duquesne Light.

KDKA saw field crews in action on Thursday afternoon. Utility poles came down on Yost Boulevard in Braddock Hills. DLC officials said 2,400 customers lost power. The cause is still under investigation.

Crews are hoping they won't see more incidents like this, but they are ready and will be available 24/7.

"We understand it can be frustrating when you lose power but have patience and know we are doing everything we can to quickly and safely restore power," said Geitner.

Local fire departments are ready to respond to any storm-related incidents.

"Hopefully, we get through this rather unscathed. But worse comes to worst, we have the guys and manpower who can handle it and Duquesne Light does a good job when we call for them," said Jerome Sepesy, the assistant chief of the North Braddock Volunteer Fire Department.

To prepare at home, Geitner said make sure you have a charged cell phone, food, flashlights and candles. It's also a good idea to have a car charger ready.

Sepesy said always stay clear of downed wires.

"If you do come across downed power lines, call 911. Do not cross them. Do not attempt to touch them. Stay away from them," said Sepesy.

Geitner said there is a process for restoration. She said transmission towers and substations are repaired first then distribution lines than individual services.

"So making sure the hospitals and critical facilities have power first. Then we go to those transmission towers and substations and then we would work our way. So the last ones you typically see coming up are the ones that were lines down at a home," Geitner said.

She said if your lights go out and you don't see crews outside of your home, don't panic.

"It's just because we have to prioritize and get the most people up at one time. I know that can be challenging because you don't think work is happening, but trust me, it is," Geitner said.

If you lose power and need power for medical reasons, call 911.

To report an outage, you can reach out to Duquesne Light Company here, use the mobile app or call 412-393-7000.

Geitner said DLC crews are following COVID safety protocols, and they ask customers to keep their distance so they can safely restore power.

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