For Immediate Release
Utility Poles, Wires Down; Dry Ice Distribution Offered
For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 25, 2001
Eight thousand customers remained without power at midday today as Pepco continued work to replace dozens of utility poles, restring power cables and replace transformers in suburban Maryland in the wake of Monday night's devastating tornado. The company also arranged to distribute dry ice to customers still without power.
The storm extensively damaged Pepco's distribution system in the College Park and Beltsville, Md., area where the tornado uprooted or broke upwards of 100 poles, pulled down wires and blacked out two electrical substations. Crews worked through the night and by noon today had restored service to about 12,000 customers, leaving 8,000 still without power.
Major sections of Pepco's system in the tornado-ravaged area need to be entirely rebuilt. Although power has been restored to more than half of the customers affected by the storm, the remaining work to cut away damaged equipment and rebuild is a time consuming process. Additional customers will be restored as repair crews work through today and tonight, but it could be as late as possibly Friday night for a few customers.
Pepco dispatched about 100 employees to walk through the neighborhoods to inventory the damage to the electric distribution system, subdivision by subdivision. There are reports of damage to electric meters and interior electric damage that will require homeowners to hire private electrical contractors to make repairs before Pepco can safely restore power to the residence.
Pepco immediately mobilized for a major reconstruction job and assigned crews to12-hour shifts. The company has more than 125 crews working, including Pepco contractors and utility crews from other companies. These included 21 Conectiv field crews that drove through the night from Maryland's Eastern Shore, Delaware and southern New Jersey to assist in the reconstruction. Conectiv is the Wilmington, Del.-based utility in the process of merging with Pepco. BGE in Baltimore, Southern Maryland Electrical Cooperative and Allegheny Power also were sending crews.
DRY ICE DISTRIBUTION
Pepco will distribute dry ice to customers from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. today from the parking lots at High Point High School, located on 3601 Powder Mill Road in Beltsville, and Northwestern High School, located at 7000 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville.
Point of Contact:Robert Dobkin