For Immediate Release
Extensive Outages, Devastating Damage Possible; Restoration Could Take Days
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pepco is closely monitoring the approach of Hurricane Sandy, which has the potential to cause devastating damage to our service territory. Pepco has initiated its Incident Response Plan to prepare for the storm and is strongly urging customers to get ready now for the possibility of multi-day outages.
Weather services are predicting that the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area will experience heavy rain and high winds over a sustained period, which could cause widespread and extended power outages.
"Our emergency teams are active, regional storm teams are communicating and operational teams are preparing for potentially devastating damage to the region's infrastructure," said Thomas H. Graham, president, Pepco region.
The company is warning that tens or even hundreds of thousands of customers could lose power during this potentially catastrophic event. The company is committed to restoring power as quickly and safely as possible, although customer and crew safety remains the top priority. Crews will begin working as soon as winds subside to below 35 mph, which is maximum safe wind for workers to go up in bucket trucks per safety regulations.
"We're hearing forecasts that we could see heavy sustained winds for up to 48 hours as this storm makes an agonizingly slow track across our overall system," Graham said. "If winds are too high, we will not be able to start restoration work until they die down so it could be as long as even a day or two before our crews could safely start working to restore power."
In anticipation of the storm, the company has mobilized all employees and is locking in availability of the more than 400 contractors already here working on our system. Pepco Holdings Inc., parent company of Pepco, is requesting an additional 2,500 line personnel through mutual assistance groups. The allocation of those crews who will be available will be determined when we have more detailed projections of where damage is expected to occur on our system.
Customers Urged to Prepare and Be Safe
Pepco urges its customers to prepare for potential power outages and act to ensure their safety. Here are some tips:
For more information and updates, visit www.pepco.com and follow Pepco at www.twitter.com/PepcoConnect.
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.