PEPCO Keeps the Lights on During Record Blizzard (PHOTO)
Montgomery County experienced record snow fall totals thanks to the Blizzard of 2016. Many residents may recall the storms of 2010 and 2011 when hundreds of thousands in the region lost power for days. This year, things were a bit different with only a few thousands residents losing power during the storm.
PEPCO Communications Director Vincent Morris says about 1,800 customers in Montgomery County were affected by power outages during the blizzard. PEPCO serves over two million customers in the region. Morris credits preventative work done by crews throughout the year to the minimal amount of outages.
“If we see a tree that’s dying or is already dead or we see branches that are leaning down on top of power lines and it looks like they may pose a threat, then we go after them. We take those threats out before they enter into people’s power supply int he middle of a cold January night,” Morris said.
Daryl Braithwaite is the Director of Public Works in Takoma Park, which experienced the most extensive power outage in the County during the storm.
“The work that PEPCO has done in the last five or six years certainly has made a difference in our town which used to have severe outages even in minor storms. So now we’re not only weathering the minor storms with no outages but minimal outages in larger storms,” Braithwaite added.
Braithwaite says that power in the Takoma Park area was restored around 9 p.m to nearly 1,200 residents after a tree fell on power lines along Poplar Avenue late Saturday morning.
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett also praised PEPCO crews for their hard work during the blizzard at a news conference held on Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m very delighted to see that they were very proactive in this situation and we did not have very many power outages,” Leggett said.
Outages also occurred in Gaithersburg affecting about 500 residents and in Silver Spring at Leisure World, which is a senior living community. Morris says that PEPCO will continue to work to help keep the power on but cautioned that there’s always another storm that could threaten the grid.
“We don’t stop. We are already bracing for the possibly of more snowfall, more ice and more high winds this winter. We do have major weather threats that come to us in the spring and summer in the form of wind storms, hurricanes and just plain old thunder showers. We believe that we have turned the tide and we are now in a good position to be able to provide very reliable electric service to our customers,” Morris said.
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— Pepco (@PepcoConnect) January 24, 2016
Outage update 3:40 pm for Pepco: 2 customers w/o power in DC, 1 w/o power in Prince Georges & 545 w/o power in Montgomery #blizzard2016
— Vincent Morris (@VincentMorris) January 23, 2016
And outage summary for Montgomery County as of 8:45 am: Just 20 customers w/o power, and our crews are working full speed to fix that
— Vincent Morris (@VincentMorris) January 24, 2016