Power Outages Reported Ahead of Sandy's Landfall
Although the storm has not yet made landfall in the Mid-Atlantic states, power outages already are being reported, according to Pepco's Storm Center website.
Although Hurricane Sandy hadn't yet made landfall in the Mid-Atlantic region by Monday afternoon, power outages already were being reported on Pepco's Storm Center website.
As of 2:15 p.m. on Monday, the following ZIP codes in Montgomery County and Northwest and Northeast Washington, DC, were experiencing power outages, according to Pepco's website:
- 20855: Fewer than five customers without power.
- 20877 and 20880: Fewer than five customers without power.
- 20852: Fewer than five customers without power.
- 20895 and 20896: Six customers without power.
- 20904: Fewer than five customers without power.
- 20903: Fewer than five customers without power.
- 20901: Fewer than five customers without power.
- 20912: Fewer than five customers without power.
- 20007, 20008, 20015, 20016 and 20057: 193 customers without power.
- 20010, 20011, 20012, 20017, 20064: 269 customers without power.
The National Weather Service expects high winds to begin Monday afternoon and to continue in Maryland for about 24 to 36 hours, according to a statement from the Maryland Public Service Commission.
"The particular challenges posed by Hurricane Sandy, including sustained periods of powerful winds and flooding, may limit restoration efforts in the early hours, but the [Maryland Public Service] Commission will keep the public informed on the extent of power outages, the progress of the restoration and what customers can expect," the statement said.
"We, like the utility companies, are working around the clock to be ready for outages and to get customers restored as quickly as possible," said PSC Chairman Douglas R. M. Nazarian.
"We expect that Maryland’s utilities will work as hard as they can to restore all customers as quickly as possible, keeping in mind the safety of their field crews.".
Pepco has been prepping for the hurricane for several days.
“Pepco has committed all its resources to Hurricane Sandy ... [but] based on the unprecedented damage that is expected, the restoration period may extend more than a week," Pepco President Thomas H. Graham said.
"All available utility crews east of the Rocky Mountains have been committed to the restoration effort on the Eastern seaboard. PHI, Pepco’s parent’s company, has secured 1,563 line personnel from states as far away as Texas and Mississippi," according to a Pepco statement.
"A significant number of outside line personnel have already arrived at Pepco’s staging ground at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. PHI is working to secure additional commitments as utilities release crews as the storm’s path becomes clear. Crews will be deployed based upon greatest damage and need," the statement said.
Also, "[nearly] 400 customer call representatives are available to answer calls, about 165 assessors are ready to identify storm damage, and around 635 support personnel are working on their special storm response roles," the statement added.
Pepco crews will start fixing downed power lines as soon as the storm's winds subside below 35 mph, "which is [the] maximum safe wind for workers to go up in bucket trucks per safety regulations," according to Pepco.
If the hurricane causes widespread damage to the electric system, "Pepco will restore power by targeting wires serving critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, fire stations and police stations, as well as those serving the greatest number of customers. ... Generally the sequence is as follows:
- Downed live wires or potentially life-threatening situations and public health and safety facilities without power.
- Transmission lines serving thousands of customers.
- Substation equipment.
- Main distribution lines serving large numbers of customers.
- Secondary lines serving neighborhoods.
- Service lines to individual homes and businesses.