CLEVELAND — A wicked winter storm with strong winds caused power outages across Northeast Ohio.
As of Sunday afternoon, most of the power in Northeast Ohio has been restored.
Summit, Erie and Lake counties were among the hardest-hit areas when it came to those without electricity.
Here are the current power outage numbers as listed by FirstEnergy's outage map (updated at 2:10 p.m. Sunday):
- Ashland County: 0 outages
- Ashtabula County: 9 outages
- Cuyahoga County: 123 outages
- Erie County: Fewer than 5 outages
- Geauga County: 18 outages
- Huron County: Fewer than 5 outages
- Lake County: 21 outages
- Lorain County: 13 outages
- Mahoning County: Fewer than 5 outages
- Medina: Fewer than 5 outages
- Portage County: Fewer than 5 outages
- Richland County: 0 outages
- Stark County: 0 outages
- Summit County: Fewer than 5 outages
- Trumbull County: 0 outages
Be sure to check back frequently as we will update this list throughout the day.
What should you do if you lose power during the winter storm? Here are some important tips as temperatures and wind chills will be dangerously cold throughout the weather event:
Since this storm is bringing frigid temperatures with sub-zero wind chills, you should plan ahead so your family can stay safe and warm. The National Weather Service has the following advice:
- Put on layers of warm clothing.
- Never burn charcoal indoors for heating or cooking.
- Never use your gas oven as a source of heat.
- If the power is out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (a relative or friend’s home, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
REPORTING YOUR POWER OUTAGE / DOWNED POWER LINES
- Call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report outages immediately, or report online or via text messaging. Our call centers will be fully staffed. The more people who call, the faster we can pinpoint the location where crews must be sent for repairs.
- Immediately report downed wires to 888-544-4877 or your local police or fire department. Never go near a downed power line, even if you think it's no longer carrying electricity.
- Stay more than 30 feet away from downed power lines, don't walk or drive near or over a downed line, and watch out for anything touching the line. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay inside until help arrives.
- Keep children and pets away from any wires.
"When operating a generator, always disconnect the power coming into your home," FirstEnergy notes. "Otherwise, power from your generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers. The proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician."
"One of the things a lot of people are doing when the electricity does go down is they're relying on backup generators," says T.J. Martin of the Parma Fire Department. "If you have a backup generator, that's great, but make sure that generator is outside so that the exhaust is outside."
What can you do to stay ahead of potential power outages? These are the things FirstEnergy suggests you keep handy...
- Light: Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a dangerous fire hazard.
- Warmth: Have extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Do not use gas stoves, grills or other open-flame appliances as a heat source. They could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas could build up in your home.
- Water: If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water.
- Food: If your home has an electric range, stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- News and information: Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand.
- Means of communication: While a cell phone will work as long as its battery is charged and the nearest cell tower has power or backup power, many cordless land-line telephones require a plug-in power source to operate, and may not work if a power outage occurs. You may want to keep a plain, hard-wired telephone handy to report your power outage (888-544-4877) or to call for help in an emergency. These phones operate on power delivered through the phone line.
Also, first responders want you to make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
PROTECTING YOUR PIPES
Another precaution you should take when temps get wickedly cold is remembering your plumbing... The American Red Cross has these tips on how to prevent your pipes from freezing:
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous story on Jan. 25, 2022.