For Immediate Release
Severe Storms Tear Through Washington Metro Area
Pepco Assessing Damage
WASHINGTON - Fast-moving thunderstorms with winds exceeding 60 miles-per-hour ripped through the Washington area today, knocking out power to over 270,000 customers and inflicting significant damage to Pepco's electric system. Of that total, approximately 200,000 customers were in Montgomery County; 49,000 were in Prince George's County; and 28,000 were in the District of Columbia.
The storm toppled numerous trees onto power lines and also blew debris into the lines. The full extent of the damage is still being assessed but power restoration could likely take several days. Additional crews have been requested.
When our system is damaged by severe weather, Pepco repairs equipment using a system of priorities that has been developed taking into account public safety, community needs and the nature of the electric system. We work first to correct potentially life-threatening situations such as downed wires and public health and safety facilities without power. We then work downstream, beginning with any problems related to the transmission or large distribution lines and focus on restoring power in a sequence that gets service to the greatest number of customers as quickly as possible.
Again, this restoration effort will take several days. Pepco advises any customers who have special needs, such as special medical equipment, to invoke their emergency plans.
Pepco strongly encourages customers to make safety a priority. Stay away from downed power line. All downed lines should be treated as if they are energized, and individuals should not approach them or touch them. CUSTOMERS SHOULD CALL 1-877-PEPCO62 (1-877-737-2662) TO REPORT AN OUTAGE AND/OR TO REPORT DOWNED ELECTRIC WIRES.
Protecting Your Food
· 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.
Protecting Your Home and Belongings
· Turn off all appliances, including your furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and water pump. That way, you can avoid a circuit overload and another outage that may result when power is restored to all appliances at once.
· Leave on one lamp so you will know that the power has been restored.
It is Important to be PreparedAs part of our storm preparedness information, we encourage customers to always keep these items on hand:
· Flashlights and fresh batteries
· Battery-powered radio
· Battery-powered or wind-up alarm clock
· A supply of bottled water (1 gallon per person per day)
· Non-perishable foods that require no heating
For more safety and emergency preparedness tips, log onto the Pepco Storm Center, www.pepco.com.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 778,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.