Severe Thunderstorms Ravage Parts of Maryland, D.C.
Barrington M. Salmon | , WI Staff Writer | 6/28/2012, 11 a.m.
Oppel said crews were working around the clock to repair the damage and restore electricity to affected customers. By 9 p.m. Saturday, the number that had been without electric power, had been reduced to 8,700.
Oppel said during a Saturday evening interview that PEPCO hoped to have electricity restored to most District and Prince George's County residents by late Sunday, and to Montgomery County residents by early Monday morning. By late Monday, June 25, power had been restored to 99 percent of households, she said.
"There was a tremendous amount of damage by the storm," said Oppel. "Trees were uprooted, and trees and power lines cracked. We will work 24 hours a day until everything is up."
The storm toppled about 125 trees in the District which blocked streets and brought down powerlines. For example, a tree fell on a house in the 3900 of South Dakota Avenue in Northeast. And just down the street, one person was trapped inside and had to be extracted by a D.C. Fire and Emergency Management Services crew. The house is badly damaged and declared unsafe for habitation.
One problem PEPCO crews were dealing with, Oppel said, was a 55-foot oak tree which had toppled onto electrical wires on Lawrence Street in Northeast but hadn't damaged the house or the wires.
"It wasn't even an outage. Wires held the tree up and we had to cut it down," she said.
One day after the storm, Northeast resident Damali Carr was still shaking her head at the storm's aftermath. She said Franklin Street looked to have borne the brunt of the storm. She did not escape the storm's wrath, but said it could have been significantly worst.
"There's foliage everywhere and trees are down. I [didn't] have any trees in my yard but now I have one," she said with a grin. "I wasn't home when this happened but I saw the results. It was pretty bad. The tree is on a line and the power's out. PEPCO's saying no power until Monday morning. It's scorching in my house right now.
"I live in my attic and this morning it was so hot I couldn't sleep. I'm thinking about the food in my refrigerator. And my roommate just moved in last week - welcome to the neighborhood!"
Carr, 30, an equal employment specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said she was fortunate because a neighbor ran a power cord from his generator to her house so she had electricity for a while.
"I have no phone, no Internet and no computer," said Carr, who moved into the neighborhood in 2011. "I was all excited when I realized that my computer had battery power but I don't have any Internet. Only when you lose electricity do you realize how much you need it. However, this has been a testament to neighbors helping neighbors."