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November 27, 2013

Penelec crews work to restore power despite lockout; Old Route 22 remains closed

ALTOONA — A FirstEnergy spokesman said around 16,000 Penelec customers suffered outages beginning around 10 p.m. Tuesday night. As of Wednesday afternoon, the majority have had services restored.

According to spokesman Scott Surgeoner, service crews, now comprised of management and supervisor personnel after the recent lockout of 142 Penelec line workers, substation electricians, meter readers and clerical staff, have not missed a step since the outages began.

"For a storm like this, with the number of customers (affected), the damage that's been done - the response time has actually been very good," he said. "At most, this will be a 24-hour event."

According to PennDOT, Old Route 22 remains closed in Juniata Township, Blair County, from the Cambria County line to the intersection of Valley Forge. In Cambria County, Old Route 22 remains closed in both directions from Route 22 to the Blair County line in Cresson Township.

Crews have been working with Verizon to clear tree branches from the company's telecom lines. According to PennDOT Press Officer Tara Callahan-Henry, the road is expected to be re-opened by the end of the day.

For more details surrounding the Penelec outages and the latest on road clearing efforts, see Thursday's Tribune-Democrat.

Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/JustinDennis.

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