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Illuminating Company Still Working To Restore Power After Storms

(Cleveland) More than 150,000 customers lost power last week when strong thunderstorms rolled across Northeast Ohio.

Power’s been restored to most customers by now, but getting the lights back on for everyone has proven tricky.

It’s nearing a week since strong winds knocked out power across greater Cleveland and about 50 homes are still without electricity.

First Energy spokesman Mark Durbin says that’s typical for this type of event because tree damage to wires can affect just one home… and be more labor intensive to repair, “We couldn’t use bucket trucks to get up on the poles to do the work. We had to have lineman walk back, there put spikes on their legs, climb up the poles or muscle a new pole and reset it into the ground.”

Durbin says this outage affected pockets of homes, unlike Cleveland’s Great Black Out of 2003-- a widespread power outage that left large parts of the Midwest, northeastern U.S. and Ontario without power for two days.

“For the most part our system is very strong. We build our system to be out in the elements 24/7. It’s very robust and especially in Northeast Ohio you have 95 degrees that we were dealing with last week and then it also needs to operate in 10 degrees below zero as well,” said Durbin.

But when a tree knocks down a line, there’s only one way to fix it. Manually. And, First Energy says, that takes time.