Not again, please. A little thunder storm rolled through last night and the news reported 10,000 people in the area were without power. The night before, there were 3,000 homes in the dark.
It has been less than three weeks since the derecho storm hit the mid-Atlantic.On June 29, more than half of Pepco’s Maryland and DC customers lost power for up to seven days. How long will it be out this time?
Will it be out long enough for the house to heat up into the 90’s again? Will it be out long enough for hotels to once more charge $500 a night?
In a recent TV commercial, Pepco's Regional President Tom Graham assured viewers that Pepco has been hard at work replacing lines and trimming trees. Sadly, Pepco tree trimmers exhibit the same care and horticultural know-how as giant kindergartners wielding enormous scissors. Combine that with years of neglect, and even little storms can cause problems.
Lately, I suspect that Pepco’s plan is to let the trees trim themselves. It is genius. Mother Nature works for free and doesn’t demand health care.
At a debriefing Thursday on Pepco’s response the derecho storm, Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) reiterated his stand that Pepco is totally lame. Well, not really.
Berliner has stated that “It is clear that as a result of years of neglect, Pepco's system has deteriorated…No one debates that a strong storm will cause outages. However, the extent of the outages and the duration of the outages are a result of the weakness of Pepco's system.”
For me, a “weak system” fails the tests of serious storms like the derecho or the big snows of 2010. A broken system leaves thousands in the dark after a little summer thunderstorm.
There isn’t much we residents can do beyond gripe and moan.
We can write our congressman. We can keep the car full of gas, stock up on flashlight batteries and pack the pantry with emergency rations. Mostly, we’re going to have to get used to frequent, multiple day blackouts.