Thank you for your patience
At 9:12 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31, we fully restored power to all customers who lost electrical service as a result of Hurricane Sandy. In total, we restored more than 130,000 outages since the storm struck the Washington region on Monday afternoon, Oct. 29. The vast majority of customers without power were restored by the following Tuesday evening-within 30 hours of the storm's onset.
We thank our customers for their patience and understanding in these difficult conditions. We also thank the more than 2,000 employees, contractors and out-of-state mutual assistance personnel for their outstanding work and sacrifice, as well as the emergency management agencies, and government officials for their support.
Hurricane Sandy proved to be a massive, very dangerous storm that left millions of Americans without power and caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and property. In the Washington area, residents experienced severe flooding and tropical force winds that prompted extensive closings, including federal and local government, schools, public transportation and roads.
We closely monitored the path of Hurricane Sandy several days in advance of the storm hitting its service territory on Monday, Oct. 29. At the same time, we began executing the planning and preparation stages of our incident response plan-mobilizing employees, securing utility contractors working on our system, making calls for out-of-state utility assistance, checking materials inventories, identifying staging areas, reserving hotel rooms for incoming crews, retaining additional call center support, among other preparatory steps.
We communicated with customers before the storm, including making automated calls to more than 1,500 customers enrolled in its emergency medical equipment program and the company's nearly 640,000 residential and small business customers, encouraging them to prepare for a severe storm and a potentially prolonged restoration period. In addition, senior executives conducted daily conference calls with government officials to provide updates and address their concerns and those of their constituents.
Restoration and Response
Power restoration activities began in full force on Monday, Oct. 29, when Sandy made its arrival in the Washington area. Repair work continued throughout the storm except for a short period Monday evening when sustained winds exceeded a safe limit. We temporarily pulled line crews at this time and when conditions were safe, the crews returned to the field to restore service.
At the peak of the restoration effort, we mobilized more than 2,000 employees, contractors and restoration crews to support response:
- Nearly 600 internal and contract line and underground personnel
- 300 tree removal personnel
- About 400 customer call representatives to answer customer calls
- About 165 assessors to identify storm damage
- Around 635 support personnel who are working on special storm response roles
In addition, PHI, our parent company, secured over 2,500 out-of-state restoration personnel acquired through the mutual assistance process.
To keep customers informed, we proactively updated Twitter, Facebook, the mobile outage reporting and tracking app, and the website; issued continual press updates; held daily press conferences and conducted numerous media interviews. We received more than 51,000 customer calls during the storm restoration effort with more than 99 percent of calls being answered in less than 30 seconds.
Our personnel staffed the state and local emergency management agencies and emergency operations centers and the company coordinated with fire departments and departments of transportation to address safety hazards and clear roads blocked by trees and downed wires.
With the completion of restoration of service to customers affected by Hurricane Sandy, we have released mutual assistance crews, many of whom will be providing restoration support for utilities in New Jersey and New York. In addition, we are also sending a portion of our internal field crews and contractors to assist with these efforts.
Although outages associated with Hurricane Sandy have now been restored, tree limbs and trunks weakened by the storm may continue to fall and cause additional outages. Our website currently shows outages that have occurred post Hurricane Sandy. If you experience an outage, we urge you to report it by calling 1-877-PEPCO62, using our website or using the mobile app that can be downloaded at www.pepco.com/mobileapp, so repair crews can be dispatched quickly to restore service. Customers also may follow us on Facebook and Twitter at PepcoConnect.