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Pepco Experiences Major System-Wide Outages

Pepco's Assessment Process Discovers Widespread Damage

WASHINGTON - Pepco continues to restore electric service to customers hard hit by the intense winter storm that swept through the entire Pepco service territory. Due to the severity of the storm, the electric infrastructure has sustained significant damage. Heavy, wet, accumulating snow caused a large amount of tree limbs to fall on power lines resulting in over 1,000 downed power lines and the loss of a single major substation.

Pepco is vigorously engaged in both the assessment and restoration phase of the effort. Once we assess the damage on electric system, estimated times of restoration will be provided to the public. Utilities and contractors from other states are in route and will provide approximately 250 additional resources dedicated to the restoration effort.

As of 10 a.m. today, Pepco has approximately 180,000 customers without power. The majority of these outages are in Montgomery County but there are growing outages throughout the District of Columbia and Prince George's County. Pepco will coordinate its power restoration efforts with emergency management personnel and local government officials.

To report Power Outages and Downed Wires Call 1-877-737-2662

Pepco strongly urges everyone to call 1-877-Pepco-62 (1-877-737-2662) to report power outages and downed wires (stay away from downed lines and report them immediately).

Customers also are asked to call Pepco to report outages - even if their neighbors already may have called. Pepco's automated outage reporting system is the most effective way to report an outage because it immediately feeds information into computers that rapidly identify problem areas so that repair crews can be dispatched and power can be restored as quickly as possible.

Once the storm subsides, crews will survey the electric system to assess the damage. As with plowing roads, it is not possible to clear side streets before the main roads are cleared. To that end, in the event our system is damaged by severe weather, Pepco repairs equipment that will restore the largest numbers of customers first. Generally, the power restoration sequence is as follows:

  • Downed live wires or potentially life-threatening situations and public health and safety facilities without power
  • Transmission lines serving thousands of customers
  • Substation equipment
  • Main distribution lines serving large numbers of customers
  • Secondary lines serving neighborhoods
  • Service lines to individual homes and businesses

Pepco urges customers to stay safe and be prepared. Here are some additional tips:

  • Assemble an emergency storm kit. Include a battery-powered radio or television, flashlight, first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, non-perishable food, manual can opener, bottled water, any necessary medications and a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Maintain a supply of extra blankets.
  • Ensure that all household members have a warm coat, gloves, hat and water-resistant boots.
  • Make sure your home has a telephone with a cord or cell phone to use as a backup. Cordless telephones require electricity to operate, and won't work if there is an outage.
  • Identify a place for emergency shelter in case of an extended outage. It is important that customers with special needs or their caregivers take responsibility to make arrangements ahead of time to prepare for potentially long-lasting service interruptions.

Additional information may be found at www.pepco.com.

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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.

© Potomac Electric Power Company, 2019. All Rights Reserved.