Delmarva Power Mobilizes Response to Hurricane Irene
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Wilmington, Del. – Delmarva Power continues to execute its response plan to assess and repair damage caused by Hurricane Irene. In addition to the repair crews dispatched in advance of the storm, assessment teams have been now deployed to identify storm damage across the system in an effort to strategically target power restoration efforts. Along with the assessment teams, Delmarva Power also has added contractors to its restoration crews. Additional call center representatives are also on duty.
“Delmarva Power had crews working to repair electrical infrastructure and restore outages as soon as the first bands of Hurricane Irene reached our service area,” said Delmarva Power Region President Gary Stockbridge. “Our restoration fleets will continue to work around the clock until power is restored in our service area. This restoration process is being conducted strategically and with full force.”
Damage to the electrical infrastructure has been extensive up and down the East Coast. In Delmarva Power’s service area, Hurricane Irene delivered heavy rains and severe winds. As of Sunday morning, over 210,000 Delmarva Power customers had experienced outages. Delmarva Power has since restored service to over 91,000 of those customers with approximately 120,000 remaining customers currently without power.
During the restoration period, a customer’s service may go on and off intermittently. In the wake of the storm, weakened trees can continue to fall and equipment can fail for an extended period of time. A preliminary damage assessment process must be completed before a “global” estimated restoration time can be generated. Delmarva Power’s “global” estimated restoration time indicates when the last Delmarva Power customer is expected to have power restored.
Safety is paramount for Delmarva Power’s customers and employees. As the skies clear, the company urges the public to stay alert, as conditions will remain hazardous. It is critical to stay clear of downed wires. Other important safety recommendations include:
- If you use life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate and you have lost power, Delmarva Power urges you to seek alternative accommodation at a location with emergency power capabilities or a hospital, as restoration will be a multi-day event.
- If you are using a portable generator, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use only when necessary. Don’t overload it and be sure to turn it off at night, while you sleep and when you are away from home.
- Operate a portable generator in a well-ventilated area. Never run it inside, even in your garage, to avoid the potential hazard of carbon monoxide. Do not connect the generator directly into your home’s main fuse box or circuit panel.
- Protect food and refrigerated medicine with regular ice in an insulated cooler. Foods will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if the door remains closed, and a half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for up to 24 hours.
A full list of safety tips can be found on the Delmarva Power website: www.delmarva.com.
Customers Asked To Report Power Outages
Customers’ reports are vital to Delmarva Power’s restoration efforts. If you experience an outage or see a downed or damaged power line, customers are asked to report it at www.delmarva.com or call Delmarva Power: 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 natural gas emergency in New Castle County, Del., call 1-302-454-0317. Multiple call center sites have been staffed to support customer service efforts and our systems have been networked together for expanded capacity.
Delmarva Power also recommends, when reporting an outage, customers request a call back. Call backs allow Delmarva Power to notify customers who have relocated when work in their area is complete. Call backs also help Delmarva Power verify whether outages still exist at specific customers’ homes.
Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and over 121,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware .