For Immediate Release
866-655-2237 (media hotline)
NEWARK, Del. (Aug. 7, 2020) – Delmarva Power has restored service for the more than 129,000 customers affected by the devastating impacts of Tropical Storm Isaias, as of 4:45 p.m. today.
"This was one of the most devastating storms to hit our service area in recent memory," said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power region president. "We want to express our sincere appreciation to our customers, especially those in the most heavily damaged areas, for their patience and understanding as we worked around the clock to restore their service."
The company amassed more than 1,250 personnel to work around the clock to repair the extensive damage to the local energy grid and restore service for customers. This contingent of resources included Delmarva Power field and support personnel, local contractors, and resources from several other companies from as far away as Florida, Georgia, Minnesota and Texas. Delmarva Power also received support from its sister Exelon companies, ComEd in Chicago and BGE in Baltimore, as well as contractor crews from Pepco in Washington, DC.
"I also want to thank the thousands of employees at Delmarva Power, our local contractors, the personnel from our sister companies, BGE, ComEd and Pepco, and the mutual assistance we received from across the country for their tireless contributions to this incredible effort. Your teamwork, selflessness and commitment to our customers in challenging conditions have been inspiring," said Stockbridge.
In total, the storm affected nearly 67,000 Delaware customers and more than 62,000 Maryland customers. Crews restored service for 95 percent of customers affected by the storm by Wednesday night—just 24 hours after the storm had moved out of the company's service area.
As with all storm responses, Delmarva Power took a systematic approach when responding to Tropical Storm Isaias, prioritizing repairs to equipment that would restore power to the greatest number of customers first. In the first 24 hours, crews focused on addressing life-threatening, safety and health situations, assessing the damage, and completing repairs to transmission equipment, including nine transmission lines and three substations. Crews then focused on addressing main distribution lines serving large numbers of customers. The final stages were the most labor intensive and included completing repairs to secondary lines serving neighborhoods and service lines to individual homes and businesses.
The extensive damage made restoring service to customers especially complex. Responding to the storm required a significant amount of tree work by arborists who had to remove damaged and downed trees from equipment before repairs could be completed. Restoring service also required replacing more than 120 utility poles and installing more than 40,000 feet of wire. Crews also had to replace more than 150 fuses, 130 crossarms and 65 transformers.
Storms like these demonstrate the critical importance of the reliability improvements Delmarva Power is implementing across its service area to help reduce outages and enhance the resiliency of the local energy grid. This effort includes modernizing infrastructure, such as replacing aging wood poles that are more vulnerable to storm damage with stronger, state-of-the-art steel utility poles, capable of withstanding winds up to 120 mph, and adding greater automation on the local energy grid with new substations and equipment. For more information on reliability enhancement projects across Delmarva Power's service area, visit delmarva.com/reliability.
This is also a timely reminder for communities to be prepared for severe weather and other emergencies. September is just around the corner and not only marks National Preparedness Month but also the typical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.
To help customers plan and prepare for an emergency, Delmarva Power offers the following tips:
To learn more about Delmarva Power, visit The Source, Delmarva Power's online news room. Find additional information by visiting delmarva.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/delmarvapower and on Twitter at twitter.com/delmarvaconnect. Delmarva Power's mobile app is available at delmarva.com/mobileapp.