Following this week’s Superstorm Sandy, thousands of Lakewood residents are still without power.
FirstEnergy’s online outage map reported that 12,987 residents were still in the dark on Wednesday night.
Many of those residents could be waiting a few days.
FirstEnergy representative Mark Durbin said that power may not be restored until this weekend.
“That’s our goal,” he said. “There may still be an isolated case or two that is longer.
“We don’t want to be locked into a timeframe.”
As the power remains out for thousands in Lakewood — as well as neighboring communities — the county and the American Red Cross opened a 24-hour emergency shelter at Garfield Middle School.
Dozens of Lakewood residents showed up on Wednesday night — as did Gov. John Kasich.
Dennis Pell, the shelter manager for the American Red Cross, is one of five experienced volunteers from the Firelands Chapter of the American Red Cross based in Sandusky.
"We're getting ready for 150 people," said Pell, who's also volunteered to help with relief efforts for Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Irene.
"It's probably overkill, but we'd rather be prepared."
In addition, the city set up an “emergency reception center” at the Lawther Senior Center to give residents a place to go during the day.
Trees and tangled power lines are still down throughout the city, particularly on the city’s north side, where many of the outages are concentrated.
Crews from around the country arrived in Lakewood on Wednesday to begin the restoration. Mayor Michael Summers told Lakewood Patch that high winds made using the elevated lifts difficult.
Durbin said crews are scattered throughout Northeast Ohio and there was no set plan to get one community restored over another, but the company would devote workers where the most restoration is possible.
He said the wind combined with the rain was especially problematic and the storm was "serious."
“The wind blows the tree and the limbs, but the rain saturation caused the ground to soften for ” he said.
Power remains out at Hayes, Emerson andGrant elementary schools, as well as Harding Middle School.
Read more of the coverage:
- City Warns Residents About ‘Unscrupulous Storm Chasers’
- Lakewood Schools are Closed Thursday Nov. 1.
- No School? Free Student Matinee Offered
- 24-Hour Emergency Shelter Opens at Garfield Middle School
- American Red Cross Delivers Meals to Lakewood Seniors
- How Long Will Food Last in the Fridge if You Lose Power?
- Lakewood Opening ‘Emergency Reception Center’
- Hurricane Sandy: How Can You Help?
- Lakewood Trick or Treat Is Rescheduled for Nov. 4
Lori Switaj contributed to this report.