Painesville Electric Responds to Saturday’s Storm

On Saturday, October 20 the Painesville area was hit by a severe thunderstorm that produced strong wind gusts and hail that downed trees, poles and power lines. Starting at 4:00 p.m. Saturday through 10:00 p.m. Sunday, Painesville Electric personnel worked to restore power to all customers including Painesville City, parts of Painesville Township, parts of Concord and parts of North Perry and Perry.


Crews were active through the night Saturday, working 16 to 17 hours straight before being sent home by relief crews. At 24 hours, 80 to 85 percent of Painesville Electric customers were restored to full power. Nearly all electric plant and electric distribution workers not scheduled to work came in to help answer phones, assist crews and help behind the scenes.


At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Painesville Electric Superintendent Jeff McHugh made a call to American Municipal Power (AMP) for mutual aid to help relieve overnight crews.


“In addition to being a public power community, we are an AMP Ohio community which means we can request mutual aid from other AMP Ohio municipalities. Four communities answered our request for aid including Wadsworth, Orrville, Hudson and Cuyahoga Falls. They were a tremendous help in tackling the remaining outages. I can’t say enough about them,” said McHugh.


Storm damage was widespread with the majority of outages caused by down trees, tree branches and snapped poles. Streets with extensive damage included Gillett Street, parts of Walnut Avenue, Levan Drive, Magnolia Drive, W High Street and Riverside Drive. The Painesville City Fire Department responded to 34 storm related calls in the city limits alone.


“From a damage perspective, we haven’t seen a storm that destructive to our system since Superstorm Sandy in 2012,” said McHugh.


By 10:00 p.m. Sunday, 30 hours after the first call, all Painesville Electric customers were back on the system and operations returned to normal. “That’s the strength of public power systems, our customers are our neighbors, so we work hard to restore power quickly and safely,” said McHugh.