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Hurricane Sandy: More than 12,000 Without Power in Westlake (Update)

Power outages are expected across Northeast Ohio due to strong winds from Hurricane Sandy.

More than 12,000 customers who have lost power in Westlake could remain without power until tomorrow afternoon, according to FirstEnergy.

Spokesperson Mark Durbin said that these outages are generally due to high winds brought on by Hurricane Sandy, but added that crews are in a tough spot when it comes to repairs.

"We are currently in a situation where, until the wind stops blowing, we’re not going to have a good handle on restoration time," he said. "If crews can safely make a repair we will do that, but we’re not sending crews up in bucket in 60-mile-per-hour winds."

Some repairs can be done from the ground, he stressed.

He added that if you have an outage, it's very important to report it. 

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for all of Northeast Ohio effective until 4 p.m. Tuesday.

These winds will be sustained at 30 to 40 miles per hour with gusts of up to 65 miles per hour, the NWS predicts.

Residents can check current outages on FirstEnergy's website.

Crews have been sent from Ohio to the East Coast, where damage is expected to be more severe and widespread, Durbin said, but crews in Northeast Ohio are fully equipped to respond the storm.

More coverage: Hurricane Sandy in Northeast Ohio

“We would not have sent those crews if we didn’t think we had adequate staffing here to deal with outages,” Durbin added.

Durbin stressed that customers should call 888-544-4877 if you have an outage — even if you think someone else will call — to help the company accurately track and respond to outages in the area.

This message was also included on the company's website:

The Illuminating Company is experiencing widespread power outages due to severe weather in our service area. Depending on the severity of the storm's impact on the electrical system, power outages could last up to seven to 10 days. Crews are assessing the situation and will begin service restoration work as soon as it's safe to do so ...  If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, hang-up now and call 9-1-1. Remember to treat all downed wires as live and dangerous. Customers should immediately report downed wires to the Illuminating Company or local police or fire department.

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