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Pepco Restores Key Power Infrastructure Following Major Storm

All Substations Have Been Restored
Extra Crews Are Arriving to Speed Restoration Work

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On the day after the storm of disastrous proportions hit the mid-Atlantic region, Pepco crews have restored power to major parts of the backbone of the region's electricity infrastructure. Power to all high-voltage transmission lines and all substations has been restored. As well, all water pumping plants have been restored.

Damage assessment teams continue to evaluate the destruction to the system so that the information will be used to guide the restoration effort. Additional damage assessment teams have been brought in from outside the company to assist in this effort.

Also on Saturday, tree crews worked to clear fallen trees off of downed power lines so utility crews could rebuild or replace the damaged poles, wires and transformers. More than 60 additional vegetation management crews from the Carolinas will arrive today.

Mutual assistance crews are scheduled to arrive Monday from as far away as Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia and Missouri to help with the restoration work. Pepco also is reaching out to utilities in the Northeast and Canada for additional resources. In all, the company has asked for 1,000 line workers from other utilities, however, given the widespread damage across the region, it has been a challenge and it is possible that only a portion of the extra help will be available.

The storm that meteorologists are calling a "derecho" brought w inds in excess of 70 miles per hour that uprooted trees and tore off limbs, which brought down numerous power lines and broke crossarms and poles. L ine crews, tree crews, call center staff and field support personnel have been deployed around the clock to support efforts to restore service. All Pepco employees have been mobilized for the restoration effort.

Despite crews working around the clock to restore service as quickly as possible, it could take a week before essentially all customers are back in service. An ETR (Estimated Time of Restoration) for when essentially all customers will be restored will be available later today.

"A restoration effort of this magnitude requires extraordinary effort and support from other utilities," said Thomas H. Graham, President, Pepco Region. "We really appreciate the assistance from all the crews coming in to help."

Pepco has activated its Crisis Call Center and reached out to other call centers for added support. On Saturday, Pepco made 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.

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