For Immediate Release
Newark, Del.- The blustery winter storm Jonas arrived
overnight Friday and continues to bring significant snowfall and high winds to
the Delmarva Power service territory. Delmarva
Power has restored power to more than 29,000 customers since winter storm Jonas
began. As of 1 p.m. Saturday, the utility reported fewer than 1,000 customers
without power. The hardest hit areas are in Sussex County, Del., and in
Worcester County, MD.
"Our system has not experienced
extensive damage, but this storm is far from over, said Gary Stockbridge,
president, Delmarva Power Region. "We will work around the clock as quickly and
safely as possible to restore any outages that may occur, but customers need to
be prepared for the possibility of service
interruptions that could last multiple days depending on how severe the damage could
be to the electric system."
Delmarva Power employees have a second role during
emergencies, actively participating in the restoration effort. In addition to internal crews
available 24 hours a day throughout the weekend, the local utility has overhead
line contractors and tree crews for a total of approximately 450 line personnel
available to assist in any restoration effort. Delmarva Power also coordinates
with state, county and local emergency management officials during severe storm
events. Delmarva Power personnel are staffed at some local Offices of Emergency
Management that are activated. If requested, the utility will staff additional local
Offices of Emergency Management, upon activation.
Delmarva Power will prioritize its restoration effort by
first addressing damage to its critical electric infrastructure including
transmission lines and substation equipment as well as hospitals, fire and
police stations and water filtration plants. Next, crews repair the main
distribution lines that serve the largest number of customers, followed by single
customers in rural areas.
High winds and heavy, wet
snow can weigh down tree limbs and bring them into contact with power lines
causing power outages. Wet snow can also adversely affect saturated soil and
allow trees already weakened by previous storms to fall onto power lines and
equipment, causing power outages. Outages can also occur due to drivers
skidding into utility poles along icy and snow-covered roads.
The northern portion of Delmarva Power's service territory includes
delivering natural gas to more than 127,000 customers. The utility urges safety
and awareness around its natural gas equipment in northern New Castle County.
"We know the nature of this storm is
resulting in high snow drifts around our natural gas equipment, making it
imperative for safety and awareness when plowing and digging out from this
weekend's snowstorm," said Stockbridge.
As customers plow and dig
out from the storm, Delmarva Power asks customers to be careful and identify
the location of natural gas piping and metering equipment around homes and
businesses. Those plowing with trucks should be mindful of the location of gas
meters and piping to avoid damage.
Natural Gas Safety Tips:
Storm Safety Tips: