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Thousands still without power after Wednesday's storm

First Energy hopes to restore power to most Friday
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Posted at 6:16 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 18:16:31-04

BAY VILLAGE, OH — First Energy said it hopes to have power restored to most customers sometime Friday evening, but said it could be Saturday until all homes and businesses get electrical service back after Wednesday's powerful storms ripped across Northeast Ohio.

The electric company said hardest hit areas include Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Lakewood and Bay Village.

"This storm is different from other storms because it uprooted and threw very large trees onto our power equipment and it downed a lot of trees," said First Energy spokesperson Lauren Siburkis.

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One of many trees brought down by Wednesday's powerful storms.

By Friday afternoon more than 10,000 customers across the area remained the dark.

"It's been a very, very long three days," said Louis Lannum.

High winds Wednesday ripped down part of a large oak tree in the backyard of Lannum's Lake Forest Drive home in Bay Village, tearing down utility lines in the process.

"I've been dark even since," said Lannum.

First Energy said the company has more than 800 workers on 16-hour shifts working around the clock to restore electricity.

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A truck from the Illuminating Company parked while crews work to restore power.

The company has brought in out-of-state crews to help with the work which the company said is mostly repairing individual service lines, rather than larger, transmission lines.

"It's not the repairs we're making early in the process where we make a repair and hundreds of thousands of customers are restored," said Siburkis. "At this stage of the game, it's requiring stops at every individual location."

In the meantime, customers like Lannum can only watch repair crews and wait.

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Louis Lannum is patiently waiting for power to be restored to his home.

"You can see these guys systematically working across Bay Village," said Lannum. "It's just a matter of time. You're on the waiting list. You just don't know when."