As of July 3, Pepco reports show that the number of residences and businesses without power in the District has been reduced to about 20,000, compared to 40,000 two days ago. Initially, 443,000 customers were impacted after a violent storm hit the DC metropolitan area on the night of Friday, June 29.
Council member Mary Cheh, who contends that 20,000 customers in the dark is still too many, has joined Mayor Vincent Gray in declaring that it’s time for Pepco to step up its game when major storms hit the area.
In an interview Monday, an obviously frustrated Gray said that it’s not as if storms of this magnitude have never hit DC before. To that end, he and Cheh have indicated that Pepco has little excuse regarding why power is not expected to be restoring to all DC residents until this weekend.
With intense heat expected to linger, going four more days without power has caused members of the D.C. Council’s Public Services and Community Affairs Committee — chaired by Ward 7 Council member Yvette Alexander — to meet with Pepco officials to determine what’s behind the delay and how a repeat scenario can be avoided.
“Instead of generalities, we would get specifics,” Cheh was quoted as saying. Otherwise, she added, alluding to Pepco officials’ veracity, “What alternative do we have other than to believe what they say?”
Unlike Pepco, utility crews in neighboring Northern Virginia and Baltimore quickly restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers.
For example, Dominion Virginia Power, which worked feverishly to restore power to nearly 1 million customers on Friday night, had restored power to 86 percent of their customers by 10 a.m. Saturday, according to a report.
The report further stated that on Tuesday, Baltimore Gas & Electric had repaired lines serving 527,000 out of about 680,000 affected customers.