Rain date used for power outage

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Power was shut off to 1,900 customers of West Penn Power in Washington and Greene counties Tuesday morning.


Customers in Morgan Township, Jefferson Township, East Bethlehem Township, Whiteley Township, Clarksville Borough and Jefferson Borough were without electricity from 8 a.m. until shortly before 2 p.m, according to company spokesperson Todd Meyers.


Meyers said it was a planned outage that was originally scheduled for July 9.


“Whenever there is a possibility of inclement weather a rain date is also selected and today was that date,” Meyers said Tuesday. “We planned to interrupt service until about 4 p.m. but were able to get it back up by 2 p.m.”


The outage was necessary to replace a damaged switch at the Mather substation, according to Meyers.


“It will improve the reliability of our service in that area,” Meyers said.


Other measures planned to improve service to West Penn Power customers include the installation of a 500-kilovolt transformer at a substation near Mt. Morris. This $5 million upgrade will help to reinforce the transmission system in Southwestern Pennsylvania, according to Meyers. A second measure that is planned for 2013 is the construction of a remaining 8.5 miles of new 138-kilovolt transmission line and the addition of breakers to the Whiteley Substation. This work will also serve to enhance the transmission network in Southwestern Pennsylvania. It is the final phase of a $12 million, multi-year project in the township. Also on the list of improvements for 2013 is grading at the Clark Farm Substation in the areas of Chartiers Township and Houston in Washington County.


The company announced earlier this year plans to spend approximately $110 million in 2013 on projects that will increase reliability in its 24-county service area. Other major projects scheduled for this year include building new circuits, replacing underground cables, inspecting and replacing utility poles and an ongoing vegetation management program.


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