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State College Avoids Major Power Outages Despite Frigid Weather

by on January 07, 2014 2:18 PM

When it comes to power outages, the State College area managed to dodge a bullet.

Electricity use has been running high due to Tuesday's record low temperatures. Many homes are equipped with electric heat.

"For whatever reason, the State College area and Centre County were relatively unscathed by this particular weather event," says West Penn Spokesman Todd Meyers.

Tuesday afternoon, the area only had eight customers without power. Overnight, Monday into Tuesday, there were roughly 343 customers around State College without power.

When you compare that to other areas in Pennsylvania, where the company saw 5,000 customers without power at one time, the State College area fared pretty well.

It's customers' increased use for heating that creates the possibility for trouble, much like an increase in the use of air-conditioning in the summer.

"Whenever you get a lot of power going through the equipment ... if there's a weakness to a transformer or piece of equipment that's when things tend to break," says Meyers.

The unusually cold weather and the subsequent increase in demand for electricity may set a new winter peak electricity usage record for the region, he says.

West Penn serves roughly 66,000 customers in Centre County.

For the latest AccuWeather forecast, click HERE.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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