Planned power outage scheduled early Sunday for system improvements

November 29, 2012
West Penn Power will shut off service to about 5,300 customers in Greene County early Sunday to make system improvements. - Bob Niedbala / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

WAYNESBURG – Residents of some areas of Greene County might want to throw an extra blanket on their beds Saturday night before they hit the sack.

Though it’s expected to be relatively warm overnight, the weather service is predicting temperatures in the low 40s, some residents will be without electrical power for a few hours early Sunday.

West Penn Power will be shutting off power to about 5,300 customers, between the hours of about 1 and 5 a.m., to make system upgrades.

Municipalities that will be affected by the outage include Waynesburg Borough; and Franklin, Center, Wayne, Whiteley, Jackson, Perry, Washington and Morris townships.

Customers who are expected to be impacted by the planned service interruption will be notified in advance by a telephone message, the company said.

The outage is being planned to allow the company to make improvements to the Franklin substation near Waynesburg, said Todd Meyers, West Penn spokesman.

“They’ll be working in the substation and bringing in additional equipment to improve reliability in the area,” he said. “To safely do that work, they need to de-energize the substation.”

The work is expected to take most, if not all, of the scheduled four-hour period, he said.

Planned outages to complete upgrades are fairly routine and the company always tries to do the work at a time that will cause the least impact on customers, Meyers said.

Normally this kind of work is done during the “shoulder months,” those months in the fall and spring when temperatures are not too extreme and air conditioning and heating needs are not as great.

Because of the moderate temperatures expected this weekend and the time of the planned outage, most customers will only notice their electric clocks will be blinking when they wake up and will have to be reset, Meyers said.

The company also has notified local public officials and emergency providers about the planned outage.

Greg Leathers, director of the county’s emergency management agency, said his office was made aware of it.

“We’re anticipating no problems.” Leathers said, noting scheduled outages have occurred in the past.

Operations at the 911 center should not be effected, he said. The center has a generator and when power is out, radio towers operate on backup batteries. The department, however, also has generators on standby to power the towers if they are needed, he said.

Any customers of West Penn Power who may have questions regarding the outage is asked to call the company’s customer service line at 1-800-686-0021.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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