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Delmarva Power Nearly Completes Restoring Service Following Destructive 'Derecho'

Monday, July 02, 2012

97 percent of Impacted Customers Back On by Midnight Sunday

NEWARK, Del. – With power restored for more than 97 percent of customers impacted by the destructive “derecho” that struck the Delmarva Peninsula late Friday evening and into early Saturday, Delmarva Power is focused on restoring service to the remaining individual customers. (A derecho is a widespread and violent straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms.)

The Company continues to dispatch crews to localized outage areas in parts of Maryland and Delaware. The extensive damage associated with these outages makes restoring service especially challenging. The majority of remaining outages affect individual customers. Heavily damaged areas where Delmarva Power will continue to work overnight and through Monday include:

  • In Maryland -- Galena, Chestertown, Stevensville, Chester, Chesapeake City, North East and Elkton;
  • In Delaware -- Odessa, Townsend, Middletown and New Castle areas.

Large fallen trees, snapped poles and downed wires caused most of the damage to the electrical equipment in those areas.

Delmarva Power appreciates customers’ patience and cautions that new outages may occur as weakened tree limbs may continue to fall and disrupt service and crews switch main power lines off and on to allow them to work safely.

Delmarva Power expects to restore service to all of the estimated 84,000 customers who were impacted by the violent windstorm by midnight tonight. However, most of the remaining customers without power are expected to have their service restored by noon today.

This extensive restoration effort has enabled the company to exercise some of the capabilities of newly installed smart meter technology.  For example, Delmarva Power is pinging the smart meters to determine whether some customers' service is back on without having to inconvenience the customers, or dispatch a crew to the impacted location. Traditionally, the utility has depended heavily on customers calling to report outages in deciding where to most efficiently dispatch crews. The Company also has traditionally telephoned customers to verify restorations.

Customers should still report outages at www.delmarva.com or by calling:

  • 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.: 302-454-0317

To keep up-to-date, customers are encouraged to visit the Delmarva Power website frequently at www.delmarva.com and review the outage map, follow us at www.twitter.com/DelmarvaPowerConnect and listen to local radio stations for updates.

Delmarva Power Encourages Safety Precautions
After severe storms, Delmarva Power urges customers to take safety precautions. Our safety tips include:

Avoid crews working on restoration. This will keep you and the crews safe, and allow them to work on restoring your power.
If you plan to use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use only when necessary. Don’t overload it and turn it off at night, while you sleep and when you are away from home.

  • Locate 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. If you are without power for more than two hours, refrigerated foods should be placed in a 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 frozen food for up to 24 hours.
  • Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if you have an electrically operated sump pump, you should not turn off the power in your basement.
  • Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
  • Take cover if necessary.

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Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Delmarva Power Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and over 124,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.