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Delmarva Power Restores Power to All Customers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Friday, November 02, 2012

Vast Majority of Customers Restored within 36 Hours of Storm’s Onset
Utility Thanks Customers for Their Patience

NEWARK, Del – As of 12:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 2, Delmarva Power fully restored power to all customers who lost electrical service as the result of Hurricane Sandy.  At the height of the storm, which struck the Delmarva Peninsula on Monday afternoon, Oct. 29, more than 70,000 customers were without power.  The vast majority of customers without power were restored by the following Wednesday evening—within 36 hours of the storm’s onset.
 
“Hurricane Sandy posed an enormous threat to our region and brought with her destruction that challenged our electrical system.  However, Delmarva Power’s preparation and strong community partnerships attacked Sandy head on,” said Gary Stockbridge, President, Delmarva Power.  “In the face of severe flooding that closed roads, tropical force winds that toppled trees and caused downed lines and threatened the public’s safety, we were able to restore the vast majority of customers who lost power within 36 hours of the onset of the storm. I want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding in these difficult conditions. Also, I want to thank the more than 3,400 employees, contractors and out-of-state mutual assistance personnel for their outstanding work and sacrifice, as well as the emergency management agencies, volunteer agencies and government officials for their support.”

Hurricane Sandy proved to be a massive, very dangerous storm that left millions of Americans without power and caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and property.  On the Delmarva Peninsula, residents experienced severe flooding and tropical force winds that prompted extensive closings, including federal and local government, schools, public transportation and roads.

Preparation
Delmarva Power closely monitored the path of Hurricane Sandy several days in advance of the storm hitting its service territory on Monday, Oct. 29.  At the same time, the Company began executing the planning and preparation stages of its incident response plan—mobilizing employees, securing utility contractors working on our system, making calls for out-of-state utility assistance, checking materials inventories, identifying staging areas, reserving hotel rooms for incoming crews, retaining additional call center support, among other preparatory steps.
 
Delmarva Power communicated with customers before the storm, including making automated calls to more than 1,000 customers enrolled in its emergency medical equipment program and the company’s nearly 500,000 residential and small business customers, encouraging them to prepare for a severe storm and a potentially prolonged restoration period.  In addition, senior executives conducted daily conference calls with government officials to provide updates and address their concerns and those of their constituents.

Restoration and Response
Power restoration activities began in full force on Monday, Oct. 29, when Sandy made its arrival in the Delmarva Peninsula.  Repair work continued throughout the storm except for a short period Monday evening when sustained winds exceeded a safe limit.  Delmarva Power temporarily pulled its line crews at this time and when conditions were safe, the crews returned to the field to restore service. 

At the peak of the restoration effort, Delmarva Power mobilized more than 2,000 employees, contractors and restoration crews to support response: 

  • Nearly 1,000 internal and contract line and underground personnel
  • 482 tree removal personnel
  • About 400 customer call representatives to answer customer calls
  • About 50 assessors to identify storm damage
  • Around 100 support personnel who are working on special storm response roles

In addition, Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI), Delmarva Power’s parent company, secured over 1,400 out-of-state restoration personnel acquired through the mutual assistance process.

To keep customers informed, Delmarva Power proactively updated Twitter, Facebook, the mobile outage reporting and tracking app, and the website; issued continual press updates; held press conferences and conducted numerous media interviews. Delmarva Power received almost 80,000 customer calls during the storm restoration effort with more than 99 percent of calls being answered in less than 30 seconds.

Delmarva Power personnel worked in conjunction with the state and local emergency management agencies and emergency operations centers and the company coordinated with fire departments and departments of transportation to address safety hazards and clear roads blocked by trees and downed wires.

With the completion of restoration of service to customers affected by Hurricane Sandy, Delmarva Power has released its mutual assistance crews, many of whom will be providing restoration support for utilities in New Jersey and New York.  In addition, Delmarva Power is also sending a portion of its internal field crews and contractors to assist with these efforts.

Contacting Delmarva Power
Although outages associated with Hurricane Sandy have now been restored, tree limbs and trunks weakened by the storm may continue to fall and cause additional outages.  The Delmarva Power website currently shows outages that have occurred post Hurricane Sandy. If customers experience an outage, Delmarva Power urges customers to call:

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.


Customers are encouraged to visit www.Delmarva.com or download the mobile app from the site for real-time outage information.

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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.