For Immediate Release
For Immediate Release September 18, 2003
Dry Ice Distribution Centers Established
DRY ICE DISTRIBUTION CENTERS
Pepco will open three dry ice distribution centers, one in each of the three jurisdictions served by the company, to be operational after the storm clears the area. The dry ice distribution locations will be:
District of Columbia: RFK Stadium, Parking Lot #4, East Capitol and 22nd Streets, N.E.
Montgomery County: Westfield Shoppingtown Wheaton, near the intersection of Veirs Mill Rd. and Georgia Ave., behind parking garage, past movie theaters, Wheaton, Md.
Prince George's County: Landover Mall, Route 202 and Brightseat Rd., Landover, Md.
In addition to Pepco's sites, local government agencies in each jurisdiction will operate distribution centers with dry ice supplied by Pepco. These sites and hours of operation will be announced by government agencies after the storm passes.
WINDS COULD DELAY START OF RESTORATION EFFORT
Although crews are poised to begin power restoration efforts, high winds pose a safety hazard to work crews and full restoration efforts could be delayed until the winds diminish. Once winds diminish to a safe level Pepco will engage in an around-the-clock effort to restore power, with crews working in 12-hour shifts. Pepco has more than 700 crews prepared to help restore power.
That includes more than 300 crews from out of state utilities, including Detroit Edison and Atlanta based Southern Co. The crews are already enroute or on location from which they can quickly come to Pepco's assistance once the storm passes. More than 100 additional forestry crews, from as far away as Mississippi and Alabama, have already arrived and set to assist in the restoration effort.
To report a power outage customers should call: 1-877-Pepco-62 (1-877-737-2662). Pepco's answering system can handle up to 100,000 calls per hour and was put into place three years ago to eliminate busy signals and avoid the need to remain on hold when reporting an outage. Following last month's storm-related outages the company revised the callback feature of the system to make it more user friendly. The company has also trained additional employees to respond to customer calls and will triple the number of staff in the call center for the duration of the storm restoration.
Pepco strongly encourages customers to make safety a priority. Stay away from downed power lines. All downed lines should be treated as if they are energized. And individuals should not approach them or touch them. If citizens see a downed wire they should call Pepco at (202) 872-3432 or local authorities and report it. Keep away from flooded areas and stay indoors. Remember, electricity and water is a dangerous combination. Even wading in a shallow puddle or flooded basement that is exposed to an energized line could cause a harmful electrical contact.
Pepco storm managers are in frequent contact with emergency management officials in the District of Columbia and Maryland to coordinate storm preparation efforts.
Pepco urges customers to prepare for the possibility of extended power outages that could result from downed trees and limbs blown into power lines. Customers should have emergency preparedness kits, including flashlights, a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries, spare batteries, canned food and a can opener, a supply of fresh water for several days, a first-aid kit, essential medications for those who use prescriptions, diapers and wipes if necessary, pillows and blankets or sleeping bags. Customers with special medical needs are urged to make arrangements for assistance if they are unable to be without power for more than a few hours.
Customers who use private electrical generators in the event of a power outage should make sure those generators are not connected to Pepco's system. This will prevent generators from inadvertently feeding back into the system and posing a risk to repair crews who are working on the system and to any customers who may be exposed to downed lines. Customers should refrain from connecting generators to their home circuit breakers or fuse boxes. Private generators should be run outdoors and appliances should be connected directly to the generator by an extension cord.
Pepco is asking customers whose service has been disrupted to shut off major appliances, such as electric water heaters and air conditioners and to leave one light switch on. This will help prevent an overload once power is restored.
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About Pepco: For more than 100 years, Pepco has served the people of the Washington metropolitan area with clean, reliable and low-cost electricity. Pepco, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides electricity transmission and distribution services to more than 700,000 customers in the District of Columbia and major portions of Prince George`s and Montgomery County in Maryland.
Point of Contact: Robert Dobkin