For Immediate Release
More than75 Percent of Customers Restored Crews Focus on Schools that Remain Without ServicePatrols Continue to Find Extensive Damage
WASHINGTON - Pepco continues to make significant progress restoring power to customers who lost service in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Of the 220,000 customers who lost power, more than 75 percent-170,000 customers-have been restored.
Fourteen hundred line-restoration personnel, including hundreds of out-of-state crews from as far away as Texas, continue to be strategically mobilized. Pepco's damage assessment and restoration fleets have been in the field non-stop since the storm abated on Sunday, and they will continue to work around the clock until power is fully restored.
Pepco expects to restore service to all of its customers impacted by the hurricane by Thursday evening. However, most of the remaining customers without power will have their service restored before that time.
"We are making good progress with our restoration effort, and we will continue to strategically attack outages until all customers affected by Hurricane Irene are restored," said Thomas H. Graham, President, Pepco Region. "Schools are a central focus and our crews are working to restore service to these facilities as quickly and safely as possible. We are working with school officials to expedite our progress." Thirteen public schools remain without power-two in the District of Columbia, three in Montgomery County and eight in Prince George's County.
The company continues to execute its planned restoration strategy, which first targets major pieces of electrical equipment that serve large numbers of customers. As restoration has progressed, crews have turned their attention to equipment that serves more local areas and are finding many old and very large trees that have fallen and damaged neighborhood equipment. For example, extensive local damage has been found on Wilson Lane and River Road in Bethesda; Brookville Road in Chevy Chase; 25th Place and Catskill Street in Temple Hills; Duley Station Road in Upper Marlboro; a portion of Van Buren Street in University Park; Flowers Avenue in Takoma Park; Yuma Street in Northwest Washington and Douglas Street and Montana Avenue in Northeast Washington. The amount of destruction associated with these local outages makes repairing the remaining 25 percent of affected customers especially challenging and slows down the speed to complete the work.
"Now that all substations and many of our main power lines damaged by Irene have been repaired, the very time-consuming work of fixing equipment that serves small groups of customers is fully under way," said Graham. "As crews go into neighborhoods, they are finding numerous older and weakened trees that have fallen and damaged our equipment. We continue to have more than 2,400 dedicated personnel, including hundreds of tree crews, working around the clock to accomplish this repair work."
As restoration work progresses, customers may receive more targeted estimated times for restoration (ETR). Any change in ETRs will reflect an improvement in time.
Customers Asked to Request a Call Back
Customers are urged to report outages at pepco.com or by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662). Customers' reports are vital to Pepco's restoration efforts because, combined with other customer calls and Pepco's technology, it helps the company identify the precise location of outages more quickly. Pepco also recommends that when reporting an outage that customers request a call back to confirm that their power has been restored.
If reporting an emergency or another life-threatening situation such as downed wires, customers also should call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) and follow the prompts.
To keep up-to-date, customers are encouraged to visit the Pepco website frequently at www.pepco.com and review the outage map, follow us at www.twitter.com/PepcoConnect and listen to local radio stations for updates.
Pepco Emphasizes Importance of Safety
Safety is paramount for Pepco's customers and employees. The company urges the public to stay alert, as conditions remain hazardous. It is critical to stay clear of downed wires and report them by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) and following the voice prompts. Other important safety recommendations include:
A full list of safety tips can be found on the Pepco website ( 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.