For Immediate Release
Restoration Effort Will Take Several Days
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Friday night's violent windstorm that ripped through the Washington area has devastated the Pepco electric system, leaving more than 443,000 of Pepco's 788,000 customers without power.
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.
Due to the widespread damage and the large number of outages, the power restoration effort is expected to take several days. Critical customers who need electricity for life support equipment are advised to seek shelter where power is available. The weather forecast for the Washington area calls for more thunderstorms today, which could cause additional outages.
"As soon as the storm passed, we had crews starting to assess the damage," said Thomas H. Graham, President, Pepco Region. "We'll continue conducting a comprehensive assessment, which we'll use to strategically deploy crews. We'll work full force and around the clock until every customer is restored."
After a severe storm such as this, assessing damage and estimating when customers will be restored could take more than 24 hours after the storm has passed.
All Pepco employees have a second role during emergencies and will participate in the restoration effort.
The utility is calling for crews from other utilities to assist with restoring service. However, the large magnitude of the storm has left utilities with millions of customers without electric service from the Midwest through the Mid-Atlantic regions. It is likely that crews who are able to assist will have to travel days to arrive.
Pepco will restore power by targeting wires serving critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, fire stations, water filtration plants and police stations, as well as those serving the largest number of customers.
The safety of our customers and crews is paramount. Customers are urged to avoid working crews and to stay away from all downed wires, even if they don't appear to be energized.
All outages and downed wires should be reported to 1-877-PEPCO-62, 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.
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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.