September 19th, 2003 | | No Comments »

Pepco Damage Assessment Shows Unprecedented Devastation;

Restoration Time Is Estimated as at least a Week

Sept. 19, 4:00 p.m. Update

Pepco is in the process of conducting a full-scale damage assessment throughout its service territory using personnel patrolling feeder lines on foot, in vehicles and in helicopters, and local government reports. The initial survey indicates that a massive effort in each portion of the service area – the largest ever undertaken by Pepco — is required to restore service to the more than 500,000 customers who lost power in the wind and rain brought by Hurricane Isabel.

As of 1 P.M. today about 531,000 Pepco customers were without power, well more than 2/3 of Pepco’s customer base of 720,000 and by far the highest number to lose power in Pepco’s history.

Preliminarily we had reports of the following damage: more than 1,000 wires down; 380 feeder lines locked out; five substations down; and more than 3,000 transformers out. These numbers will probably increase, possibly substantially. Due to the extensive and unprecedented damage, it could be a week or more before everyone’s service is restored. The damage in our area is consistent with reports from other utilities in the mid-Atlantic region where more than 7 million people are without power in areas of North Carolina, Virginia, the District and Maryland.

As of 4:00 p.m., the following outages are reported on the Pepco system:

District of Columbia: 105,000

Montgomery County: 227,000

Prince George’s County: 165,000

Total: 497,000 customers

Crews began work at 2 a.m. and Pepco now has more than 700 crews in rotating 12-hour shifts. Pepco personnel are conducting a damage assessment to determine how long the restoration process will take. We expect this information will be available later today

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