Power Outage Leaves 20 Federal in the Dark

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A planned outage Monday afternoon affected about 20 customers downtown, but some tenants inside 20 Federal Place were caught unaware.

Debora Flora, executive director of the Mahoning County Land Bank – which operates on the second floor of 20 Federal – said she “had no idea there was going to be any kind of power outage under any circumstances today.” At about 1:30 p.m., the office of the Land Bank lost use of all electric equipment, including computers, desk phones and internet access, though the overhead lights stayed on, she said.

“Anything that had to do with electronic communications, we basically lost during this time,” she said. “Any advance notice didn’t land here.”

Most of the building was dark during the outage, she said. While walking through the building to find out what was going on, Flora reported members of the Youngstown Fire Department and building maintenance people were working to rescue someone who was stuck in an elevator.

In an emailed response for a statement, Lauren Siburkis, senior communications representative for First Energy, said the outage was needed to allow utility workers to “safely address an issue within the underground system that caused a power outage last night into early this morning.

“While we notified customers [Ohio Edison account holders] by phone ahead of the planned outage today, some offices within 20 Federal Place were affected by this outage that we did not anticipate because the building is served by different circuits,” Siburkis explained.

Utility personnel “worked as quickly and safely as possible to complete the repairs necessary” to prevent lengthier, unexpected service disruptions in the future, she continued.

Power was restored shortly after 3 p.m., Flora confirmed.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.