For Immediate Release
For Immediate Release September 23, 2003, 3:00 p.m.
Pepco Restores Power to 80% ofCustomers Who Lost Service
Pepco officials announced today that about 80% of customers who lost electricity as a result of Hurricane Isabel were back in service as of 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. Currently, 109,000 customers remain without power as Pepco crews continue to apply all available resources to the effort.
Severe weather overnight had little effect on the pace of electrical service restoration in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, as Pepco crews continued to work in shifts throughout the night despite heavy downpours that reportedly dumped more rain than the amount received during Hurricane Isabel.
Of customers in Pepco`s service territory remaining without electricity, the break down by jurisdiction is as follows:
Customer calls to Pepco indicate that most customers sympathize with crews and understand the complexity of restoration job, but are increasingly frustrated by Pepco's inability to provide estimated restoration times. Pepco President Bill Sim explained why such estimates are difficult to provide.
"Under normal conditions, when Pepco crews arrive at the site of an outage, they survey the damage, analyze the work needed, and enter an estimated restoration time into a mobile computer located in their trucks. This restoration time is immediately sent to an automated telephone system that informs customers of their anticipated restoration time. In this massive outage situation, crews from outside our company do not have the same computer equipment Pepco uses. They cannot enter the same data. In any case, we would rather have crews working on repairs than stopping to report electronic data."
The actual process of restoration begins at the substation and works progressively down the line large capacity feeder lines, to lateral lines to service drops lines which connect individual homes and businesses to the network. Hurricane Isabel wreaked widely dispersed damage from substations all the way to individual service drop lines. Pepco today released photographs of sample damage at each step along the line to illustrate the challenges crews face in the field.
Currently, Pepco has more than 900 crews working in shifts around the clock on restoration. "We have mobilized an army," Sim said today. "And every member of that team is hard at work."
Pepco urges customers to call in if they are still without power and notice that their neighbors have regained power. The number to call is 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662).
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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