People Come Face-to-Face with Power Company After Weeks of Outages in Spring

STOURDSBURG, Pa. -- Tuesday night’s storms were an unwelcome reminder for many folks in the Poconos. Back in the spring, homes, businesses, and schools in Monroe and Pike counties were without power for weeks following a string of storms.

On Tuesday, people in Stroudsburg got to come face-to-face with the power company.

Some people in Stroudsburg lost power for 12 total days in May and they had a lot to say to the Met-Ed power company.

John Schnaitman uses Met-Ed and said his properties on Main Street were without electricity for weeks, while others were fine.

“We have a big problem with Met-Ed, and we don't seem to have the problem with PPL,” Schnaitman said.

Because of complaints like that – borough council held a meeting at Stroudsburg high school so people could voice their concerns to Met-Ed representatives.

“It's frustrating to look down Main Street and see every other building having power and Met-Ed doesn't,” Stroudsburg real estate owner Jack Muehlhan said.

Another big complaint – the company wasn’t responsive enough during outages.

“You can't get an answer from them as to when you're going to get power restored. They will not call you back,” Stroudsburg resident Bill McCabe said.

A former Met-Ed employee even talked to the crowd. He said when he started the job in the 1990s, the company had 45 people in the East Stroudsburg office.

“When I left in 2001, we had 15 linemen and God knows how many more customers,” the former employee said.

Met-Ed representatives said they are investing more money into Monroe County this year than they have in the past.

“We used to spend about $800,000 in Monroe County to trim trees. This year, we're spending $2.3 million,” First Energy manager Scott Surgeoner said.

Later this month, Met-Ed is going to be making improvements to its power lines downtown so the company can be more responsive during these outages.

“[We are] installing a lot of smart devices. Devices that react when there is an outage that restores that outage much quicker without having to have a line worker go and restore that outage,” Surgeoner said.

Representatives from Met-Ed said they’re taking all of the input from Tuesday night’s meeting to make more improvements in Monroe County.

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