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Delmarva Power Prepares for Another Round of Winter Weather

Monday, January 31, 2011

Delmarva Power Urges Customers to Be Safe

NEWARK , Del. -- Delmarva Power is preparing for yet another winter storm that could bring a wintry mix in some areas. Sleet, freezing rain and wet snow can sometimes coat electrical equipment, resulting in power outages. The weight of ice can break crossarms on power poles and bring tree limbs and trees down onto power lines, which then break poles and snap spans of power lines. If extensive damage occurs, there is the potential for extended power outages due to the laborious effort involved with cutting up and removing limbs and trees, installing new power poles, restringing lines and replacing other equipment such as transformers and fuses.

There is also the possibility of service interruptions due to coastal flooding and traffic accidents that involve drivers’ vehicles skidding into utility poles.

Delmarva Power will coordinate its power restoration efforts with emergency management personnel and local government officials.

Customers are asked to call Delmarva Power to report an outage, gas emergency or downed or damaged power lines. The numbers to call are:

  • Delaware : New Castle County, 1-800-898-8042; Kent and Sussex counties, 1-800-898-8045.
  • Maryland : Cecil and Harford counties, 1-800-898-8042; Eastern Shore, 1-800-898-8045.
  • To report a Delmarva Power natural gas emergency in New Castle County, call 302-454-0317.

Delmarva Power’s automated outage reporting system is the most effective way to report an outage because it immediately feeds information into computers that rapidly identify problem areas and dispatch repair crews, so that power can be restored as quickly as possible.

Delmarva Power advises everyone to follow these important safety tips:

  • Stay away from downed lines and report them immediately by calling the appropriate Delmarva Power emergency number listed above.
  • Never attempt to remove trees or limbs from any utility line. Assume all objects touching a power line are energized.
  • If using a portable generator during a power outage, always operate it outside. Do not operate a portable generator near doors, windows or in garages to prevent deadly carbon monoxide from entering the house.

Delmarva Power urges customers to stay safe and be prepared. Here are some additional tips:

  • Assemble an emergency storm kit. Include a battery-powered radio or television, flashlight, first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, non-perishable food, manual can opener, bottled water, any necessary medications, and a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Maintain a supply of extra blankets.
  • Ensure that all household members have a warm coat, gloves, hat and water-resistant boots.
  • Make sure your home has a telephone with a cord or cell phone to use as a backup. Cordless telephones require electricity to operate and won’t work if there is an outage.
  • Identify a place for emergency shelter in case of an extended outage. It is important that customers with special needs or their caregivers take responsibility to make arrangements ahead of time to prepare for potentially long-lasting service interruptions.

Additional emergency preparedness and safety information may be found at www.delmarva.com.

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Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to nearly 498,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and over 123,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware .