Pepco Monitors Hurricane Irene, Prepares to Restore Service
Outages Could be Widespread; Restoration Could be Multi-Day Event
Utility Requests 600 Mutual Assistance Crews; 150 Already are on Site
Customers Urged to Prepare
WASHINGTON – Pepco is closely monitoring the approach of Hurricane Irene,
which could strike the Pepco service territory early Saturday. Weather
services are predicting that the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area will
experience heavy rain and high winds over a sustained period this weekend,
which could cause widespread and extended power outages. The subsequent
restoration could be a multi-day event. Pepco has initiated its Incident
Response Plan and is strongly urging customers to prepare for the
possibility of outages.
“Pepco understands that reliable electrical supply is critical to the
everyday lives of customers, and as a result, Pepco has been proactively
preparing to restore service as quickly and safely as possible if our area
experiences outages from Hurricane Irene,” said Thomas H. Graham, Pepco
Region President. “This storm has the potential to cause extensive power
outages that could require crews to work around the clock for multiple
days to restore service. This is an all-hands event and every employee
will assume a second job to support restoration efforts. I urge customers
to prepare for possible extended outages.”
Pepco Mobilizes Crews and Staff
In anticipation of the storm, Pepco and its parent company, Pepco
Holdings, Inc. began aggressively planning and preparing for the storm on
Monday. Early on, the company requested the assistance of 600 personnel
from other utilities; 150 from First Energy in Ohio already have arrived
in the Washington area. These crews will be deployed depending on the
location of the greatest damage. Pepco is keeping on call 340 utility
contractors who already are working on the system and has secured 330 tree
crews from Asplundh. Pepco’s line crews are prepared to work extended
hours and the company has alerted additional staff to provide support
services, including customer service staff.
Pepco is continuing to participate on Mid-Atlantic Mutual Assistance and
Southeastern Electric Exchange conference calls with other utilities to
request additional field crew assistance as needed. The company has been
in contact with state and local emergency management agencies to ensure a
coordinated community response.
Depending on the severity of the storm, damage to Pepco’s electrical
infrastructure could be extensive and power restoration could be a
multiple-day event. After severe storms, assessing damage and estimating
when customers will be restored could take up to 24 hours after the heart
of the storm has moved from the area. Crews are deployed to restore
service only when weather conditions become safe.
Customers Urged to Prepare and Be Safe
Pepco urges its customers to prepare for potential power outages and act
to ensure their safety. Here are some tips:
· Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
· If you or someone you know uses life-support equipment that
requires electricity to operate, identify a location with emergency power
capabilities and make plans to go there or to a hospital during a
· Assemble an emergency "storm kit." Include a
battery-powered radio or television, flashlight, a first-aid kit,
battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, special needs items, an
insulated cooler and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.
· Keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods and
bottled water and have a hand-operated can opener available.
· Have a telephone with a cord or cell phone to use as a backup.
Cordless telephones require electricity to operate, and won't work if
there is an outage.
· Protect your electronic equipment. Unplug sensitive electronics
or plug computers and other sensitive equipment into surge suppressors,
and consider a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for temporary battery
· Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe
to do so. However, if you have an electrically operated sump pump, you
should not turn off your power.
· Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and
· Follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
· Take cover if necessary.
· Stay away from downed wires.
· Call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) and press "2" to
report a downed wire.
· To report an outage, call 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) and
press “1” for the automated system.
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.
VP Pepco Region
701 Ninth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20068
(202) 872-2524 (office)
(202) 872-2032 (fax)
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