UPDATED: Thousands without power in Montgomery, Chester counties

Met-Ed utility crews were at Ben Franklin Highway in Douglass Township, Berks County, in the eastbound lanes where a large tree crashed into power lines causing an electricity outage in the area. (Photo by John Strickler/21st Century Media)

After a summer storm ripped through the region Tuesday night, more than 30,000 people in the PECO coverage area are still without power.

As of 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, company representative Romona Riscoe Benson said there were approximately “27,800 customers in Chester County without power.” But the online power outage map for PECO has the number of customers without power at 25,273.

There are about 9,700 customers in Montgomery County still in the dark, according to Benson.

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Around 3 p.m. the company reported on their website that approximately 16,100 Chester County customers were still waiting for power while about 3,800 Montgomery County residents saw service restored.

Despite the large number of outages, Benson said the company is aiming to have power restored to all customers in the service region “by the end of the day [Thursday] or Friday at the latest.”

In order to return service, the company takes a triage-style approach to its work.

“First, we identify critical customers first,” Benson said. Those customers are hospitals, 911 call centers and water treatment plants.

After those customers have power back, Benson said, crews start focusing on the hardest hit areas.

Some of the numbers in northern Chester County shed light on the scale of PECO customers effected: 132 customers of the 8,600 PECO serves in Phoenixville are still without power while only 11 of the 3,900 customers in North Coventry do not have restored service.

Benson said that after focusing on high voltage lines, that when repaired can restore service to 100,000 customers, crews move on to low voltage lines.

She stressed that it takes the same amount of time to repair the different lines.

“That is why the last 10,000 customers can take longer,” because the low voltage lines service a lower volume of customers but still take the same amount of time to repair, she said.

PECO customers without power can call 1-800-841-4141 for information about specific areas.