For Immediate Release
Improved Weather Aids in Recovery
The weather has improved and crews will continue working around the clock until service to Pepco customers is restored after two brutal storms hit the Mid-Atlantic region this past week.
"We're officially at the last stage of restoration," says Thomas Graham, President, Pepco Region. "We're restoring those individual customers who may be the only person without power on their street."
As of 5 p.m. today, crews have completed more than 400,000 restorations since last Friday with the vast majority of remaining outages representing new ones over the last 12 hours. Wind conditions and other unforeseen events can create additional temporary outages on a smaller scale.
T he majority of customers in the District of Columbia were restored by 2 p.m. The majority of customers in Prince George's County will be restored by 8 p.m. tonight and the majority of customers in Montgomery County will be restored by 6 p.m. tomorrow evening.
In some areas, the company is getting down to the most time consuming part of the restoration effort. Some crews, rather than doing aerial work -- where crews can restore large numbers of customers at one time -- approach the point where they will restore individual homes and businesses. This part of the restoration process tends to be more time consuming due to travel time between restoration points and access into yards and local streets.
Health and safety remain top priorities as we work with community leaders to recover from these two storms. We urge customers to stay clear of downed wires and report them to us along with their outage to 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662). In addition, we urge customers who choose to run home generators to do so safely, so as not to harm themselves, their families or utility crews working on the system.
We recognize the disruption and inconvenience these back-to-back winter storms have caused and we thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this restoration effort.
To help customers stay safe until their power is restored, Pepco offers the following safety guidelines and tips:
Electrical Safety - The storm has brought down power lines across our territory. Assume that all power lines and electrical equipment are "live."
· Stay away from downed power lines and call 1-877-PEPCO-62 to report downed or damaged wires. Stay away from standing water, and make sure children and pets are kept safely away.
· Turn off electric appliances and lights; leave one light on so you know when power has been restored.
· Do not attempt to move downed or damaged power lines with branches, boards, etc.
· Clear snow away from appliance intake and exhaust vents to maintain proper airflow ventilation. Blowing and drifting snow can clog such vents and create a fire hazard.
Generators, Fireplaces and Grills
• If you use a generator to supply backup power, operate it safely. Do not operate indoors, in a garage or near doors or windows to avoid exposure to deadly carbon monoxide.
• If possible, appliances should be connected directly to small portable generators by an extension cord rather than through home wiring. Customers should consult the generator's instruction manual for proper installation, operation and maintenance. The installation should be inspected by a qualified electrician.
• Do not burn charcoal indoors, even if you have a fireplace. Burning charcoal indoors can expose you to deadly carbon monoxide.
• If you use a grill, use it outside. If you use a fireplace, burn only the fuel it was designed for.
Candles and Portable Gas or Kerosene Heaters
• Candles can be hazardous and even deadly if not used properly; Pepco does not recommend the use of candles. Portable fuel-burning heaters pose the same dangers as candles.
• Use a battery-powered flashlight, lantern or other device if your lights go out.
• If you do use candles, keep them away from flammable items such as curtains, clothing, papers or other potentially flammable material.
• If you use portable heaters, follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the same safety precautions as for candles. In addition, ensure adequate ventilation of any room where such heaters are in operation.
• Never leave candles or heaters unattended - especially around children or pets - and extinguish them carefully before leaving the room.
· Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed; open them only when absolutely necessary. Food will stay frozen for 36-48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if you keep the door closed.
· A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.
· More information on keeping food safe is available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_032409_01/index.asp.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 750,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.