For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON - Pepco has launched its response plan in the wake of Hurricane Irene. A fleet of trucks was dispatched at 7 a.m. to actively assess storm damage across the system, allowing Pepco to strategically target power restoration efforts. These crews include personnel and trucks from utility companies in other states, which had been arranged by Pepco earlier last week as Hurricane Irene gathered.
"We have developed a plan to attack potential outages since this storm was first predicted," said Pepco Region President Thomas H. Graham. "We've now launched our restoration fleets into the communities and they will work around the clock until everyone's power is restored. This restoration process is being conducted strategically and with full force."
More than 2,500 individuals are dedicated to the restoration effort, including:
· 1,700 restoration workers in the field, including 800 from mutual-assistance companies in other states
· 400 field support personnel
· 440 staffers taking calls from Pepco customers
In Pepco's service area, Hurricane Irene delivered heavy rains and sustained gale force winds. Damage to the electrical infrastructure has been extensive up and down the East Coast. As of 7:30 a.m., approximately 194,000 Pepco customers were without power. This is reduced from 220,000 customers without power earlier during the storm. Approximately 65,000 residents in Montgomery County, Md., 96,000 in Prince George's County, Md. and 33,000 in the District of Columbia are without power.
Currently, five Pepco substations and131 priority feeder lines have been knocked out and 304 wires are down.
A preliminary damage assessment process must be completed before a "global" estimated restoration time can be generated. Pepco's "global" estimated restoration time, which indicates when the last Pepco customer is expected to have power restored, will be available in the next day.
Pepco Encourages Safety Precautions
After severe storms, Pepco urges customers to take safety precautions. Our safety tips include:
Customers Asked To Report Power Outages
Customers' reports are vital to Pepco's restoration efforts. Customers are asked to report outages at www.pepco.com or by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) and pressing one for the automated system. If reporting an emergency or another life-threatening situation such as downed wires, customers are asked to please call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) and follow the prompts. Multiple call center sites have been staffed to support customer service efforts and our systems have been networked together for expanded capacity and the ability to operate virtually.
Pepco also recommends, when reporting an outage, customers request a call back. Call backs allow Pepco to notify customers who have relocated when work in their area is complete. Call backs also help Pepco locate outages that may be specific to customers' homes.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 778,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.