Commercial

Energy Company Deploys Helicopters and Drones After Storm Hits Northeast US

By S.L. Fuller | March 6, 2018

Rear view of a male pilot flying a helicopter on sunny day.

File photo

Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy, is using both helicopters and unmanned aircraft systems to inspect damaged power lines — particularly in the more remote areas.

The company said Sunday it was able to restore power to more than 186,000 Met-Ed customers in Pennsylvania after a storm clobbered the Mid-Atlantic and New England region over the weekend.

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"Large areas of the eastern seaboard were slammed by this winter storm and unfortunately many Met-Ed customers got hit pretty hard," said Ed Shuttleworth, regional president of Met-Ed. "The high winds were a big challenge to our initial restoration efforts since it was unsafe for our crews to go up in buckets and make repairs. Plus, the wet, heavy snow and hundreds of road closures made it almost impossible to travel to some damage locations. Met-Ed crews and other personnel will continue to work round-the-clock to make repairs and deploy resources as needed until all customers are restored."

FirstEnergy also announced that another of its subsidiaries, JCP&L, would also be using helicopters and drones as part of the damage assessment process. JCP&L is based in New Jersey.

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