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Potomac Edison Prepares for Winter Weather

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WILLIAMSPORT, Md., Nov. 22, 2021 -- With cold winter months ahead, Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. , is conducting inspections and maintenance to help enhance service reliability and keep power flowing to customers in its Maryland and West Virginia service areas.

"By taking proactive steps now to safeguard our power infrastructure and prepare our utility vehicles, we will be better positioned to respond to the challenges presented by winter weather and continue to deliver safe, reliable electricity when our customers are relying on it to stay safe and comfortable," said James A. Sears, Jr., vice president of Potomac Edison.

Potomac Edison utility personnel are inspecting substation equipment and winterizing substation control buildings to ensure that essential components of its electric power system continue to function properly during cold weather.

Electricians also inspect critical components using special thermovision cameras, which capture infrared images of electrical equipment that can detect potential problems that aren't visible through regular visual inspections. The infrared technology shows heat on a color scale, with brighter colors or "hot spots" indicating areas that could need repairs. These images can identify equipment issues such as loose connections, corrosion and load imbalances, and utility workers are able to proactively make repairs to prevent potential power outages in the future. 

Helicopter inspections are being completed along approximately 1,400 miles of transmission lines located in the Potomac Edison service area. The inspections are designed to look for damaged wire, broken cross arms and other hardware problems not visible from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspection may then be addressed. Potomac Edison is also inspecting its utility poles to ensure their stability heading into the winter months.

Tree trimming throughout the year also helps meet the rigors of winter operations by maintaining proper clearances around electrical systems and helping to protect against tree-related outages caused by heavy, wet snow, high winds and ice. Potomac Edison tree contractors expect to complete trimming along more than 1,670 miles of power lines in 2021.

Additionally, company bucket trucks and other vehicles are being inspected to help ensure safe operation during the winter season. Special emphasis is placed on the condition of tires and air braking systems, which can freeze up if moisture is present. In addition, snow removal equipment is being checked to help ensure employees can safely access work sites and company facilities.

Potomac Edison serves about 275,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 151,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Follow Potomac Edison at, on Twitter @PotomacEdison, and on Facebook at

FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note: Photos of workers conducting inspections to enhance service reliability for FirstEnergy's utility customers are available for download on Flickr. Videos of utility personnel conducting a thermovision inspection can be found on the company's YouTube channel.

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.