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For Immediate Release
For Immediate Release September 22, 2003, 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. Outage UpdatePepco Restores Power to Approximately 350,000 Customers;Focus on Safety, Prompt PowerRestoration for Remaining Customers
Pepco today announced that approximately two-thirds of the customers reporting service interruptions as a result of Hurricane Isabel were back on line as of 2:00 p.m. Monday, September 22.
In all, more than half-a-million of the company`s 750,000 customers in Washington, D.C., Montgomery and Prince George`s counties of Maryland lost power during the storm that company officials described as one of the largest in company history. Pepco estimates that nearly all customers will have power restored by Friday.
Approximately 800 crews are working in 12-hour shifts to restore service throughout Pepco`s service territory. Crews will continue to work through the day and night until service is restored to all customers.
Pepco President Bill Sim explained that safety of both customers and crews are the priority.
"As to be expected, as last week`s storm hit, we were focused on and fixed life-threatening situations, restoring critical public facilities, such as hospitals, fire and police stations. We also made a concerted effort to keep the water treatment facilities on line and were successful," said Sim.
"Next we focused on key transportation and commercial arteries so people could obtain necessary services and made repairs affecting the largest numbers of people," he added. "We know there are customers who are tired, frustrated and anxious to see their power restored. I ask them to be patient just a little longer. I am sorry customers have been inconvenienced for so long, but I am grateful for their patience and understanding."
Adverse weather conditions may limit crews` abilities to restore power. Crews are permitted to work through wet conditions, but severe weather and lightning storms pose a safety threat. In addition, last week`s storm weakened trees around the area that continue to fall on lines and cause additional outages. Adverse weather could continue to shake trees and branches and possibly create more outages.
The majority of damage in Pepco`s service territory was caused by fallen trees taking down power lines. More than 3,500 lines have been reported down since Thursday, the most ever in Pepco`s history. The time-consuming work to clear trees and debris often benefits only a few customers at a time.
Power outages stem from multiple reasons. Some customers might remain in the dark, while their neighbors have power, because adjacent customers may be served by different feeders. If one feeder sustained damages, but the other is operational, one side of the street may be without power, while the houses across the street have full power. Customers may be affected by damage, blocks or even miles away.
Customers are encouraged to assist power restoration by reporting power outages and downed lines by contacting Pepco at 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662).
As of 4:00 p.m., today, the following outages are reported on the Pepco system:
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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