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For Immediate Release


Pepco Urges Customers: Stay Safe During Heavy Rains, Flooding and Possible Outages

WASHINGTON, DC - Pepco continues to track the progress of Tropical Storm Ernesto today and prepares to respond to any problems the storm could have on electric service in the Washington Metropolitan area. 
Extra crews are being assigned beginning with tonight's midnight shift and plans are for 12-hour shifts through the holiday weekend in the event wind and heavy rain causes widespread power outages. Trees that bring down power lines create hazardous conditions and Pepco urges customers to stay safe during these weather emergencies.
IF YOUR POWER IS OUT, Pepco urges customers to heed the following safety tips:
• All lines should be treated as if they are energized. Do not approach them or touch them.
• If you see a downed wire, report it to Pepco at 202-872-3432.
• Never attempt to remove trees or limbs from any utility line. Assume all objects touching a power line are energized.
• Keep away from flooded areas and stay indoors. Even wading in a shallow puddle or flooded basement that is exposed to an energized line could cause a harmful or fatal electrical contact.
• Keep children and pets inside and away from standing water.
• If your basement is flooded, DO NOT attempt to turn off power or operate circuit breakers while standing in water.
• Turn off all appliances, including your furnace, air conditioner, water heater and water pump. That way, you can avoid a circuit overload and another outage that may result when power is restored to all appliances at once
• Unplug sensitive electronics and turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if you can safely do so.
• (NOTE: Do not turn off power to sump pumps.)
• Leave on one lamp so you'll know when the power is restored.
• If you use a portable generator, always operate it outside, away from doors and windows, to avoid deadly carbon monoxide.
• For your safety and the safety of Pepco employees working to restore power, do not connect your generator directly into your home's main fuse box or circuit panel. Improperly connected generators can feed electricity back into the electrical system, endangering field personnel working to restore your power. Consult a qualified electrical contractor if a permanent generator installation is desired.
Pepco urges customers to report outages via the company's automated phone system. This automated system enables us to more quickly locate the cause of the outage and schedule repairs in an efficient and orderly manner. If power has been restored in the customer's neighborhood but not to their home, they should call and report the outage again; there could be a secondary problem in the neighborhood or even at the customer's service connection.
• Report power outages by calling    1-877-PEPCO-62  
• Report downed wires or life-threatening    202-872-3432
electrical system situations by calling
• TTY        202-872-2369


Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 745,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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