As of Tuesday, Pepco reports state that the number of residences and businesses that remain without power in the District has been reduced to about 20,000, compared to 40,000 two days ago -- and the initial 443,000 customers that were impacted after a violent storm ravaged the city and parts of nearby Maryland on Friday.
But Council member Mary Cheh, who contends that 20,000 customers in the dark is still too many, joins Mayor Vincent Gray in declaring it's time for Pepco to step up its game when major storms ravage the area.
An obviously frustrated Gray said in an interview Monday that it's not like storms of that magnitude have never hit the District before. To that end, he and Cheh have indicated Pepco has little excuse why it will be during the weekend when power to the rest of the city is fully restored.
However, with the intense heat expected to linger, going four more days without power has caused members of the D.C. Council's Public Services and Community Affairs Committee -- chaired by Ward 7 Council member Yvette Alexander -- to meet with Pepco officials to determine what's behind the delay restoring electricity and how a repeat scenario can be avoided.
"Instead of generalities, we would get specifics," Cheh was quoted as saying. Otherwise, she added, alluding to Pepco officials' veracity, "What alternative do we have other than to believe what they say?"
In comparison to Pepco, utility crews in neighboring locales like Northern Virginia and Baltimore, were quickly able to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers.
For instance, Dominion Virginia Power, which worked feverishly to restore power to nearly 1 million customers on Friday night, had restored 86 percent by 10 a.m. Saturday, according to a report. The report further stated that on Tuesday, Baltimore Gas &Electric had repaired lines serving 527,000 out of about 680,000 affected customers.