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Pepco to Beat Global Restoration Estimate by Two Days

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Crews to Restore Power Today to At Least 90 Percent of 443,000 Customers Affected by Storm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pepco expects to restore power by the end of the day today to at least 90 percent of its customers who lost electricity as a result of Friday’s violent storms. This is two days ahead of schedule for Pepco’s original global estimated time of restoration (ETR) of 11 p.m., Friday.
   
More than 2,000 crew members working extended shifts have already restored power to about 89 percent of customers who lost power as the result of Friday’s storm. In total, Pepco has more than 3,000 personnel working on the restoration effort. 
   
Crews already have restored power to 94 percent of the 64,000 District of Columbia customers affected by the storm and 88 percent of the 379,000 customers affected in Maryland.
   
“We are giving it our all to restore power to at least 90 percent of the affected customers tonight,” said Thomas H. Graham.  “While we are pleased to be able to beat our estimate by two days, we will not reduce our efforts. Based on the information we had, Friday was our best estimate to achieve this milestone, but we were able to get more mutual assistance crews from out of state than we expected, and we thank our employees and local contractors for their tireless work. We are ahead of where we thought we would be, but we won’t let up until every last customer has electricity,” he said.

Through the evening and overnight Tuesday, Pepco restored about 38,000 additional customers.  The jurisdictional breakdown of those restored overnight is as follows:

  • District of Columbia – 5,000 additional customers restored      
  • Montgomery County – 25,000 additional customers restored     
  • Prince George’s County – 8,000 additional customers restored 

Additional crews from Pepco’s sister company, Delmarva Power, arrived this morning, and resources are anticipated from Progress Energy in Florida. Crews continue to work hard, 24/7, including the July Fourth national holiday, to get every last customer restored.

The company continues to implement its planned restoration strategy with line-restoration personnel tackling neighborhood outages to restore the remaining customers without power.  With much of the major electrical equipment now repaired, crews are focused on restoring service to smaller pockets of customers, which still is expected to extend into the weekend.

“Extensive damage associated with these localized outages makes repairing the remaining customers especially challenging,” said Graham.  “We are hard at work to tackle these very localized outage cases, and will not celebrate Independence Day until every last customer is restored. We understand the frustration of waiting for power to be restored, and we appreciate our customers’ patience while we finish.”

During major events, Pepco’s strategy is to first repair damage to main power lines that serve more than a thousand customers. Once power is restored to that line, service is restored to most customers on that line. Sometimes, however, utilities find that neighborhood damage further down the line is impacting a handful of individual customers.

In some cases, it can take several crews working for hours to restore only one customer.

The company has mobilized about 3,000 personnel for the restoration effort.

  • About 2,000 field restoration personnel including:
    • 870 power line personnel from out of state;
    • 500 tree trimming personnel;
    • 400 overhead line contractors;
    • 145 internal Pepco and Delmarva Power line crew members; and
    • 70 internal underground and substation personnel. 
  • In addition, about 275 personnel are mobilized to answer customer calls and about 780 personnel are supporting the restoration effort in other roles.

Pepco reminds customers that if they see crews who are not actively engage in restoring power, the crews are either:

  • Waiting for electrical equipment to be de-energized or energized before working or moving on to the next job,
  • Waiting for materials to arrive that were requested after surveying onsite damage, or
  • Reviewing orders for the next assignment.

Customers Asked to Report Power Outages
Customers’ reports are vital to Pepco’s restoration efforts.  Customers are asked to report outages at pepco.com, through the mobile app or by calling 1-877-737-2662 and following the prompts on the automated system. If reporting an emergency or another life-threatening situation such as downed wires, customers should immediately call 1-877-737-2662 and follow the appropriate prompts.  The company urges customers to continue reporting their outage. Customers’ reports are vital to Pepco’s restoration efforts because, combined with other customer calls and the company’s technology, it helps precisely identify the remaining locations without power and speeds restoration.

Pepco also recommends, when reporting an outage, customers request a call-back. Call-backs allow Pepco to notify customers when work in their area is completed. However, although area work has been completed, not every customer may have been restored, if further damage is located on equipment directly serving a customer’s home.  The call-backs help the utility to locate outages that are specific to customers’ homes and still need to be addressed.

To keep up to date on their individual restoration estimates, customers are encouraged to call 877-PEPCO62, visit www.pepco.com, and download our mobile app at www.pepco.com/mobileapp. They also may follow us on Facebook and Twitter at PepcoConnect.

Pepco Encourages Safety Precautions
After severe storms, Pepco urges customers to take safety precautions. Our safety tips include:

  • Stay away from downed wires. Call 1-877-737-2662 and follow the prompts to report a downed wire or an outage.
  • Avoid crews working in the street. This will keep you and the crews safe, and allow them to work on restoring your power.
  • Visit pepco.com for safety tips and follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
  • If you plan to use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use only when necessary. Don’t overload it and turn it off at night, while you sleep and when you are away from home.
  • Locate a portable generator in a well-ventilated area. Never run it inside, even in your garage, to avoid the potential hazard of carbon monoxide. Do not connect the generator directly into your home’s main fuse box or circuit panel.
  • Protect food and refrigerated medicine with regular ice in an insulated cooler. If you are without power for more than two hours, refrigerated foods should be placed in a cooler. Foods will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if the door remains closed, and a half-full freezer will generally keep frozen food for up to 24 hours.
  • Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if you have an electrically operated sump pump, you should not turn off the power in your basement.
  • Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.

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Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 788,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.