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PECO Tries Damage Control With Both Power Lines And Customers

File Photo (credit: KYW's John Ostapkovich)

File Photo (credit: KYW’s John Ostapkovich)

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By Pat Loeb

SPRINGFIELD TWP., Pa. (CBS) – Hundreds of PECO customers — now in their fifth day with no electricity — showed up for face-to-face sessions the utility set up in the hardest hit suburbs. They were hoping to find out when their power would come back, but they didn’t always get the answer they wanted.

“I would like to know when you really think it’s going to be fixed,” asked Connie Morganson, who came to the Springfield Township Municipal Building dressed in layers. “I have worn this clothing all week long. I eat in it. I sleep in it. It’s my survival suit.”

Connie first lost power in Monday’s snow and got it back only briefly before losing it for good on Wednesday. She hoped the PECO representative could be more precise, but the one she spoke to explained that crews keep finding new areas of damage as they fix others:

“We can only see the first break in your line so we’d have to fix the first one then see what other breaks are down the line,” the representative said.

She left no closer to knowing when her power will return, but was assured PECO was working on it.

Latest Power Outage Numbers

Cassandra Harris says she’s lucky she has a place to stay while she waits for power to return to her Montgomery County home:

“We’ve just been coming home at night to check on the house, where the temperature is currently 32 degrees.”

Jim McCutcheon’s house is similarly frosty, but he says he’s been staying there:

“Lotta blankets, lotta sweatshirts, go to work, stay warm at work.”

They, too, along with Connie, were among the hundreds who turned out to ask when their power will return.

PECO spokeswoman Kathy Menendez says they all probably got continually changing estimates by phone, “so one thing we thought was important to do is come here and talk to customers one-on-one about their property, and give them information that’s pertinent to them.”

PECO crews continue working around the clock, in 16 hour shifts.