CHESTER - A power outage is planned in Hancock County for about five hours today for maintenance issues, according to officials with MonPower.
Todd Meyers of MonPower said a service interruption is scheduled in the northern part of Hancock County from approximately 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
He said MonPower transmission lines connect to AEP lines at the Chester substation. AEP technicians have discovered some wooden utility poles need replaced, which requires shutting off power, Meyers said.
More than 4,000 customers in the Chester, Newell, Lawrenceville and New Manchester areas will be affected, as will rural areas of U.S. 30 from Chester east to the Pennsylvania line, Route 2 from Chester south to just outside New Cumberland, and the area along Route 8 from U.S. 30 south to Tomlinson Run State Park.
Hancock County Schools officials said they were made aware of the outage.
Teachers returned to school Monday, but students do not return until Friday.
Jolene Zuros of the Hancock County Health Department said she spent much of the day Monday contacting county food service establishments about the outage.
"Most said they appreciated a call from us because they had not heard anything about the outage from the power company yet," Zuros said. "Most said they would not open Tuesday until after 1 p.m."
Zuros said many food service establishments have generators to keep perishable foods cold or frozen.
She said those who do not have generators should not have a problem with food safety if they leave the freezers and coolers closed during the outage.
MonPower and First Energy officials said they regret the inconvenience to about 4,200 customers who will be without power during the period.
However, the power must be turned off for technicians to safely perform the maintenance, Meyers said.
(Tullis can be contacted at email@example.com)