Vast Majority of Customers Restored within 30 Hours of Storm's Onset
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As of 9:12 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31, Pepco fully restored power to all customers who lost electrical service as a result of Hurricane Sandy. In total, Pepco restored more than 130,000 outages since the storm struck the Washington region on Monday afternoon, Oct. 29. The vast majority of customers without power were restored by the following Tuesday evening—within 30 hours of the storm's onset.
"The magnitude of Hurricane Sandy was unprecedented as was Pepco's preparation," said Thomas H. Graham, President, Pepco Region. "Despite severe flooding that closed roads, tropical force winds that toppled trees and devastation to our electric system, we were able to restore the vast majority of customers who lost power within 30 hours of the onset of the storm. I want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding in these difficult conditions. Also, I want to thank the more than 2,000 employees, contractors and out-of-state mutual assistance personnel for their outstanding work and sacrifice, as well as the emergency management agencies, and government officials for their support."
Hurricane Sandy proved to be a massive, very dangerous storm that left millions of Americans without power and caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and property. In the Washington area, residents experienced severe flooding and tropical force winds that prompted extensive closings, including federal and local government, schools, public transportation and roads.
Pepco closely monitored the path of Hurricane Sandy several days in advance of the storm hitting its service territory on Monday, Oct. 29. At the same time, the Company began executing the planning and preparation stages of its incident response plan—mobilizing employees, securing utility contractors working on our system, making calls for out-of-state utility assistance, checking materials inventories, identifying staging areas, reserving hotel rooms for incoming crews, retaining additional call center support, among other preparatory steps.
Pepco communicated with customers before the storm, including making automated calls to more than 1,500 customers enrolled in its emergency medical equipment program and the company's nearly 640,000 residential and small business customers, encouraging them to prepare for a severe storm and a potentially prolonged restoration period. In addition, senior executives conducted daily conference calls with government officials to provide updates and address their concerns and those of their constituents.
Restoration and Response
Power restoration activities began in full force on Monday, Oct. 29, when Sandy made its arrival in the Washington area. Repair work continued throughout the storm except for a short period Monday evening when sustained winds exceeded a safe limit. Pepco temporarily pulled its line crews at this time and when conditions were safe, the crews returned to the field to restore service.
At the peak of the restoration effort, Pepco mobilized more than 2,000 employees, contractors and restoration crews to support response:
• Nearly 600 internal and contract line and underground personnel
• 300 tree removal personnel
• About 400 customer call representatives to answer customer calls
• About 165 assessors to identify storm damage
• Around 635 support personnel who are working on special storm response roles
In addition, PHI, Pepco's parent company, secured over 2,500 out-of-state restoration personnel acquired through the mutual assistance process.
To keep customers informed, Pepco proactively updated Twitter, Facebook, the mobile outage reporting and tracking app, and the website; issued continual press updates; held daily press conferences and conducted numerous media interviews.
Pepco received more than 51,000 customer calls during the storm restoration effort with more than 99 percent of calls being answered in less than 30 seconds.