For Immediate Release
For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 16, 2003
Out of State Utility Crews Set to Assist
Pepco continues monitoring the progress of Hurricane Isabel and has arranged to bring in as many as 600 linemen and foresters from distant utilities to join Pepco crews in restoring power if storm damage warrants.
Pepco is in contact with utilities in states outside of the projected storm path and has commitments for more than 200 line crews from Detroit Edison and from Atlanta-based Southern Co., and for 100 forestry crews. They will join more than 200 Pepco crews and contractors who will begin working l2-hour shifts, starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Additionally, Pepco has cancelled all but emergency leaves for employees, most of whom will work extended hours through the weekend if major power outages result from the storm.
Also, the company has arranged for 150,000 pounds of dry ice to distribute to customers and has replenished its warehouses to ensure adequate supplies of utility poles, transformers, cable and other supplies are available.
Pepco storm managers are in frequent contact with emergency management officials in the District of Columbia and Maryland to coordinate storm preparation efforts.
Pepco urges customers to prepare for the possibility of extended power outages that could result from downed trees and limbs blown into power lines. Customers should have emergency preparedness kits, including flashlights, a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries, spare batteries, canned food and a can opener, a supply of fresh water for several days, a first-aid kit, essential medications for those who use prescriptions, diapers and wipes if necessary, pillows and blankets or sleeping bags. Customers with special medical needs are urged to make arrangements for assistance if they are unable to be without power for more than a few hours.
Pepco strongly encourages customers to make safety a priority. Stay away from downed power lines. All downed lines should be treated as if they are energized. And individuals should not approach them or touch them. If citizens see a downed wire they should call Pepco at (202) 872-3432 or local authorities and report it. To report a power outage call 1-877- PEPCO-62. Keep away from flooded areas and stay indoors. Remember, electricity and water is a dangerous combination. Even wading in a shallow puddle or flooded basement that is exposed to an energized line could cause a harmful electrical contact.
Customers who use private electrical generators in the event of a power outage should make sure those generators are not connected to Pepco's system. This will prevent generators from inadvertently feeding back into the system and posing a risk to repair crews who are working on the system and to any customers who may be exposed to downed lines. Customers should refrain from connecting generators to their home circuit breakers or fuse boxes. Private generators should be run outdoors and appliances should be connected directly to the generator by an extension cord.
Pepco is asking customers whose service has been disrupted to shut off major appliances, such as electric water heaters and air conditioners and to leave one light switch on. This will help prevent an overload once power is restored.
While Pepco tries to minimize inconvenience to individual customers, its first priority in restoring power is to eliminate any life-threatening conditions such as downed wires and to restore service to critical public services, such as hospitals, police, fire, communications, water and sewer and transportation services. The next priority is to make repairs that can restore service to the largest groups of customers at one time. Crews then focus on repairs that affect individual homes and businesses.
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About Pepco: For more than 100 years, Pepco has served the people of the Washington metropolitan area with clean, reliable and low-cost electricity. Pepco, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides electricity transmission and distribution services to more than 700,000 customers in the District of Columbia and major portions of Prince George`s and Montgomery County in Maryland.
Point of Contact:Robert Dobkin