Peco expects all power to be back by Friday

There is some good news from Peco: The hot, dark, TV-less aftermath should end Friday for folks still without power. Tuesday evening's thunderstorms resulted in 260,000 outages, with the majority in Chester, Bucks, and Delaware Counties.

Nearly 5,000 local customers were still without power early Thursday afternoon, Peco spokeswoman Romona Riscoe Benson said. That was a marked improvement from the 40,000 outages reported late Wednesday.

"We've been able to restore 98 percent" of outages, Benson said.

That's a success, she said, considering "the thunderstorms we've been experiencing are pretty significant in number."

To accomplish its goal of restoring all power by Friday, Benson said, 2,800 Peco employees and contractors are working around the clock. Contractor crews from other states - such as New Jersey and Delaware, and as far away as Kentucky - have also been called, and will bring an additional 400 workers.

When mass outages occur, Peco prioritizes places with hospitals and nursing homes, and then deals with downed high-voltage wires that could endanger people.

For Tuesday's storm, Benson said she could not pinpoint particularly troublesome spots, or advise if certain areas should anticipate longer waits for power.

Early Thursday afternoon, Chester County had 1,602 outages, the most of the five local Southeastern Pennsylvania counties. Bucks had 1,070 outages, followed by Delaware with 990, Montgomery with 985, and Philadelphia with 175.

"We still want to urge customers to stay safe," Benson said.

If someone has an issue or sees a downed power line, call Peco at 1-800-841-4141. Updated outage numbers are also available on the company's website.

Tuesday's brutal storm, which knocked down trees and brought 60 m.p.h. winds, brought the 2014 total to 1.7 million outages in the region, according to Peco.