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BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) — Thousands of customers in Butler County may be without power until Sunday night.
Trees and power lines went down as winter storms moved through the area Thursday and Friday, knocking out power for thousands across western Pennsylvania.
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Butler County was hit the hardest. As of 10 p.m., more than 24,000 West Penn Power customers in Butler County were without power. In total, more than 35,600 were still in the dark across the region.
Service isn’t expected to be restored until late Sunday night for the majority of customers in Butler County.
“I guess the big thing is no heat and no internet. I work from home, I work remotely, so I need [the internet] to log on and get to work,” Cranberry Township resident Sandra Reilch said.
Some residents bought generators to use until service is restored.
“The generator’s big enough to power most of the house. We have gas appliances so cooking’s not a problem. There’s enough electric there to run the boiler and the hot water heater,” Jim Rickard said.
EMS workers have been scrambling to assist elderly and disabled residents.
“Currently, what we’re seeing is those folks who don’t have power and are oxygen-dependent have reached out for help,” Cranberry EMS Chief Jeff Kelly said. “We actually delivered a couple of oxygen cylinders to some oxygen-dependent people throughout the township.”
Ken Maleski, spokesman for Central Electric Cooperative in Parker, told the Butler Eagle it is “probably our largest outage in our history of 81 years.”
KDKA’s David Highfield called the spokesperson for the power company for answers on why the repairs are taking so long.
“First of all, there’s so much damage out there that still needs to be fixed,” said Todd Meyers, of First Energy. “But when I say late Sunday night, I don’t mean late Sunday night for all.”
As of 10:30 p.m., approximately 11,300 Duquesne Light customers throughout the region were also without power.
Duquesne Light says crews, contract lineworkers and tree clearance staff members are working 16-hour shifts to restore power.
They expect power to be restored to the majority of customers by early Sunday evening.
Warming centers have opened throughout the area to serve those without power.