A powerful fast-moving summer storm passed through our service territory mid-day yesterday (Sunday, July 25, 2010). With winds upward of 60 miles per hour, the storm caused a significant amount of damage in a short period of time (See Photos). The combination of heavy rains and high winds resulted in a large number of uprooted trees bringing down power lines.
At our peak, we had approximately 300,000 customers without power. As of 9 p.m. today, we restored more than 157,000 customers (some multiple restored customers) and have approximately 182,000 customers without power. We currently have approximately 99 electrical feeders completely shut down; the majority due to tree damage. To keep it as simple as possible, one feeder serves hundreds to thousands of customers. When a feeder is locked out, each of those customers are without power.
Public safety remains our top priority in our restoration process.
Unlike in smaller events, we aren’t currently providing Estimated Times of Restoration (ETRs). To provide proper ETRs, we must survey the damage to the system, evaluate the type of damage and the type of crews and equipment needed to make the repairs, and finally determine how long it will take to make repairs. Because of the time it would take to complete this process with such widespread damage, we are restoring and assessing simultaneously. In an effort to restore power to as many customers as quickly and safely as possible, we are currently restoring power on one feeder, while we assess damage on another feeder. When we have a better scope of all of the damage to the system, we will be able to provide those ETRs.
Due to the amount of severe damage to our electrical system, we are predicting that this will be a multiple day effort. Our crews will be working around the clock to safely & quickly restore power to everyone. To assist in our restoration process, we will be receiving mutual assistance from a combination of outside utilities and contractors.
Once customers are restored they may experience brief outages as crews continue to make repairs on other sections of the feeder. To be safe, customers should re-report any outages to 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662). Customers should also report downed power lines through the same outage line.
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‘Til the next post,