Slow but steady progress is being made to restore power to customers of Central Electric Cooperative in Parker, according to company spokesman Ken Maleski.
“We have every truck available out now,” he said about noon today. “We also have four extra crews from other electric cooperatives helping.”
Those other cooperative are from Warren, Somerset and Huntingdon counties.
Some 55 workers from Central Electric are out in the field today.
Around noon, some 8,500 customers remained without power due to the ice storm earlier this week. That's down from a peak of 9,300 or so on Friday.
A key development occurred earlier today as the cooperative's Fredericksburg and Cowansville substations were back on line. Those substations are supplied by West Penn Power.
The Fredericksburg station near Petrolia covers members in the northern Butler County area as well as East Brady and Clarion County.
The Cowansville station in western Armstrong County covers most of Armstrong County and a smaller portion on the eastern edge of Butler County.
“I see significant progress today,” Maleski said, “with the power being restored at those two substations.”
He cautioned, however, that seven other cooperative substations supplied by West Penn Power remain in the dark.
Additionally, he said trees falling onto powers lines are still a problem.
He said he understands the frustration of members not having power since Thursday or Friday, but he believes most of them are aware that the company is working hard to restore service.
“A lot of people, I think, are finally realizing it's going to be a long process,” Maleski said.
How long? He can't say.
“The big thing people want us to give them is a restoration time,” he said. “But that's the most difficult thing for us to give them.”