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For Immediate Release

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Pepco Mobilizes Comprehensive, Strategic Response to Restore Power

Four Substations and All But One Hospital Have Been Restored
Restoration Effort Will Take About a Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  Mutual assistance utilities have committed crews from Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma to assist with restoring power to the more than 443,000 customers who lost power during the violent windstorm that tore through the Washington area at about 10:30 p.m., Friday. Crews are expected to  begin arriving here Monday. Pepco also is reaching out to the Northeast and Canada for additional resources.

Pepco has asked for 1,000 crews from other utilities, however, given the widespread damage across the region, it is possible that only a portion of the request will be granted. 

Winds in excess of 70 miles per hour uprooted trees and blew down limbs, which brought down numerous power lines and broke crossarms and poles. More than 800 resources including linemen, tree crews, Call Center staff and field support personnel have been deployed to support efforts to restore service. All Pepco employees have been mobilized for the restoration effort.

Pepco is focusing immediate efforts on restoring power to substations and substation supply lines as well as critical public facilities such as hospitals, fire stations, water filtration plans and police stations. 

Since this morning, Pepco has restored power to all but one hospital and has restored four substations and multiple substation supply lines. Crain Highway substation in Prince George's County remains without service.

In addition, service has been restored to the Potomac Water Filtration Plant, but the utility is still working on restoring power to the Wheaton auxiliary pumping station that pushes water throughout Montgomery County and the Sandy Landing Pumping station that serves Rockville.

At 9 a.m. this morning, more than 3.8 million customers are without electric service in the PJM Interconnection service territory. PJM is a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in much of Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions.

It could take about a week before all Pepco customers are back in service. Today's weather forecast calls for more thunderstorms, which could cause additional outages and impact restoration progress.

"We have done a lot to prepare for storms by improving our restoration processes, but no amount of preparation can significantly speed the mammoth task before us," said Thomas H Graham, President, Pepco Region.  "It is a nuts and bolt restoration -- tree by downed tree, pole by pole, wire by wire, house by house."

Pepco has activated its Crisis Call Center and reached out to other call centers for added support.  Currently Pepco is making recorded outbound calls to all customers to update them on the restoration status. All outages and downed wires should be reported to 1-877-737-2662, through pepco.com or through the mobile app, available for downloading at pepco.com/mobileapp. Customers should request a call back to verify their power has been restored.

Pepco Encourages Safety Precautions After severe storms, Pepco urges customers to take safety precautions. Our safety tips include:
  • Stay away from downed wires. Call 1-877-737-2662 and follow the prompts to report a downed wire or an outage.
  • Avoid crews working in the street. This will keep you and the crews safe, and allow them to work on restoring your power.
  • Visit pepco.com for safety tips and follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
  • If you plan to use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer's instructions and use only when necessary. Don't overload it and turn it off at night, while you sleep and when you are away from home.
  • Locate a portable generator in a well-ventilated area. Never run it inside, even in your garage, to avoid the potential hazard of carbon monoxide. Do not connect the generator directly into your home's main fuse box or circuit panel.
  • Protect food and refrigerated medicine with regular ice in an insulated cooler. If you are without power for more than two hours, refrigerated foods should be placed in a cooler. Foods will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if the door remains closed, and a half-full freezer will generally keep frozen food for up to 24 hours.
  • Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if you have an electrically operated sump pump, you should not turn off the power in your basement.
  • Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
  • Take cover if necessary
Customers Asked to Report Power Outages
Customers' reports are vital to Pepco's restoration efforts.  Customers are asked to report outages at pepco.com or by calling 1-877-737-2662 and following the prompts on the automated system. If reporting an emergency or another life-threatening situation such as downed wires, customers should immediately call 1-877-737-2662 and follow the appropriate prompts.
 
Pepco also recommends, when reporting an outage, customers request a call back. Call backs allow us to notify customers when work in their area is completed and they also help locate outages that may be specific to customers' homes.

To keep up-to-date, customers are encouraged to visit the pepco.com website and listen to local radio stations for updates or use the mobile app.

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Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 788,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
© Potomac Electric Power Company, 2019. All Rights Reserved.