For Immediate Release
202-872-2680 (media hotline)
Company Thanks Customers and Communities for their Patience
WASHINGTON, DC (July 16, 2022) — Pepco amassed more than 500 personnel to work around the clock to repair the extensive damage to the local energy grid and restore service to customers affected by the severe weather and thunderstorms that impacted its service area late Tuesday evening.
The National Weather Service confirmed that College Park in Prince George's County likely experienced straight-line winds – winds with a tornado-like force that blow in a straight line -- emanating from a severe thunderstorm. Peak wind gusts were estimated between 80 and 90 miles per hour.
As final outages were totaled, the number of customers in the Pepco region impacted by severe weather was approximately 47,000, a decrease from earlier estimates of more than 51,000.
The contingent of resources included Pepco field and support personnel and local contractors. Pepco also received support from crews based at its sister Exelon companies, Atlantic City Electric and PECO in Philadelphia.
"We are thankful for the understanding and patience from our customers, as extended outages can be frustrating, especially during hot summer weather" said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president. "As we have preparations in place for such events, we were able to quickly deploy the hundreds of our skilled technicians and contract partners to safely remove downed trees and debris and repair severely damaged equipment so we could fully restore service safely and as quickly as possible. We know they were also working in uncomfortable temperatures and are grateful for their efforts and dedication to get every customer back online."
As with all storm responses, Pepco took a systematic approach, prioritizing repairs to equipment that would restore power to the greatest number of customers first. In the first 24 hours, crews focused on addressing life-threatening, safety and health situations, assessing the damage, and completing repairs to transmission equipment. Crews then focused on addressing main distribution lines serving large numbers of customers. The final stages were the most labor intensive and included completing repairs to secondary lines serving neighborhoods and service lines to individual homes and businesses.
The extensive damage made restoring service to customers especially complex. Responding to the storm required a significant amount of tree work by arborists who had to remove damaged and downed trees from equipment before repairs could be completed.
This storm is a reminder for communities to be prepared for severe weather and other emergencies, as we are seeing more frequent and severe storms as a result of climate change. To help customers plan and prepare for an emergency, Pepco offers the following tips:
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