Thousands without power as high winds blow through Northern Ohio

Thousands without power as high winds blow through Northern Ohio

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Widespread power outages are affecting FirstEnergy customers on Saturday as strong winds sweep across Northern Ohio.

The National Weather Service issued a Wind Advisory for Erie, Cuyahoga, Lorain, Sandusky, and Ottawa counties while Ashtabula, Geauga, and Lake counties are still under a Winter Weather Advisory.

On Saturday, about 4,000 customers without power.

Those numbers have dwindled on Sunday to less than 200 before noon.

Customers who may be left without power after the storm are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the “Report Outage” link on the FirstEnergy website.

In the event of severe weather, customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. Residents should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity.

Extra caution should be used to avoid and to keep pets away from areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris. Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.

Some tips to prepare for possible outages from severe weather:

  • Keep electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, and tablet computers fully charged to be ready for any emergencies.
  • Keep a flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries handy. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
  • Never use a portable generator inside the house or a closed garage. Ensure the proper generator is selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazard for utility workers.
  • Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources indoors, as they could release deadly carbon monoxide gas into your home.
  • If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.
  • Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
  • Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle when the power is out. This will ensure you have access to online information sources.

Return to 19 News for updates.

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