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Published: Wednesday, 6/9/2010

Edison says it expects to get power to most customers

BLADE STAFF

Toledo Edison reported yesterday that of 11,000 customers affected by storm-related power failures, all but a few dozen would have electricity restored by evening, and those remaining were customers whose homes were too badly damaged to reconnect.

It might take the rest of the month, however, to rebuild a 345-kilovolt transmission line that was damaged by the Wood County tornado, and FirstEnergy Corp. spokesman Mark Durbin wasn't sure yesterday afternoon how long fallen wires and debris might block State Rt. 795 where the line crossed that highway.

Two steel-lattice power towers were toppled over, and three more were crumpled near their tops during the tornado's passage, either by the twister itself or the force of its wind yanking on the wires.

Mr. Durbin said all five towers will have to be replaced.

About 100 people were assigned yesterday to the transmission-line repairs, including some from Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Ohio Edison - FirstEnergy sister companies to Toledo Edison.

The damage affected about 6,000 feet of the transmission line that parallels Pemberville Road to the east through Lake Township. No customers were directly affected by its shutdown because power was rerouted over other parts of the Toledo Edison electricity grid, Mr. Durbin said.

Except for some windblown debris that lodged in its towers, a parallel 138-kilovolt transmission line was not damaged by the twister, he said.

The First Energy Foundation, meanwhile, donated $10,000 to local relief efforts: $5,000 to the Wood County Emergency Management Agency and $5,000 to the Toledo chapter of the American Red Cross.

"These are our customers, and this is something we wanted to do to help with the healing and the rebuilding," Mr. Durbin said.



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