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Utility companies ready as storm rolls into Lackawanna County

Because this is a "mixed bag" storm, when rain turns to ice that's when we have the potential to run into some problems and concerns.

DUNMORE, Pa. — The weather is downright lousy right now.

It all started with rain before moving to snow and ice; ice is a big concern, especially for utility companies like PPL electric.

"The biggest challenge for us is the number of outages. We don't know going into a storm how many we will have, so we keep as many crews as possible ready to go, and if your power goes out, we will be out to restore it just as quickly as we can," said Maggie Sheely, PPL Regional Affairs Director.

The potential for power outages and downed power lines in parts of our viewing area are possible because of this storm. 

PPL officials say report the problem, don't try to check it out yourself.

"If you do see a downed power line, avoid it. Assume it is energized and the area around the power line on the ground can be energized up to 35 feet away from that power line, so you want to stay as far away from that power line as possible," added Sheely.

At the PennDOT salt shed in Dunmore, trucks are ready, just waiting for this stuff to freeze over.

In the Electric City, The Department of Public Works was out in full force.

City officials have about 900 tons of salt on reserve, and it's possible nearly half will be used for this storm.

"We will have our staff, drivers pre-positioned, staged in certain areas so they can respond quickly to that change over of rain to freezing rain," said Tom Preambo, Scranton DPW Director of Operations.

A spokesperson at natural gas company UGI tells us they are ready to respond in case of any outages, too. 

A tip for customers, do your best to remove any snow and ice buildup around outdoor vents and appliances.

Joseph Swope explains why.

"That will avoid any potential for carbon monoxide. Another thing with ice, you want to avoid hitting your meter with snowplows, blower, any sharp object, you don't want any damage to the meter as you are clearing snow and ice from the meter," Swope explained.

For the most up-to-date information on the outage, check out these outage maps:

WINTER TIPS: Check out severe weather tips on WNEP’s YouTube channel.   

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