450 customers still without Power in Dupont – New Estimated Restoration Time is 10pm (for now)

From Pepco [most detailed update I’ve seen via the Dupont Listserv]:

“On Jan. 6, 2015, an underground cable fault occurred shortly before 7 a.m. in the area of 18th and Corcoran streets, NW. The fault caused three underground feeders to trip and led to power outages for approximately 6,100 customers. The cause remains under investigation.

Pepco restored electrical service to approximately 6000 customers by about 11 p.m. Tuesday. Field work on the underground outage has required a longer period of work than anticipated due to inclement weather, traffic and the severity of the damage. Pepco crews will continue making repairs and will remain on site until all of the work is completed.

The current ETR is set at 10 p.m. tonight. Estimated Time of Restoration is initially based on the identified problem and the time it normally takes to make the repairs. As we proceeded with the original repairs, we found the damage more extensive than originally anticipated which required extending the ETR. Until the first repair was completed, we could not detect the additional repairs necessary to complete the restoration. ETRs, that Pepco fully expected to meet, have been extended due to unforeseen issues crews had no way of discovering until they made other necessary repairs.

Today, during our emergency repair effort, engineers discovered additional issues involving secondary power cables underground. This will require crews to remove and replace cable before service can be completely restored to remaining customers experiencing outages. Three secondary main lines are being replaced plus additional underground equipment. The technical nature of this repair work severely limits the ability to immediately see certain underground issues. Pepco has been calling affected customers all day to communicate our continued emergency work and the estimated time of restoration.

We estimate more than 450 customers are experiencing an extended outage while our emergency work continues to repair secondary lines. Customers between R Street and S Street, in the area extending between 18th Street NW to Connecticut Avenue are included in the extended outage. It is important for customers who do not have power to continue reporting any outage to Pepco by phone at 1-877-737-2662 or through our mobile app available for download at Pepco.com.

The District has established a warming center for customers at the Raymond Recreation Center, 3725 10th Street NW. We understand our customers’ frustration and we will continue to work around the clock to get every last customer restored.”

5 Comment

  • I’m in the affected area and finally heard from pepco for the first time tonight at 6 pm. Contrary to the message posted, the pepco representative actually said they had no estimated time for restoration at this point. I Find it gross how they have been crowing about power being restored on social and regular media when in my building alone at least 100 people have been without heat for the last two days. I’m grateful to have friends, a significant other, and a workplace who have provided me and my kitten shelter and warmth, but this is unacceptable – I’m sure others don’t have these options and my place was freezing when I stopped by for more clothes today: the temperature couldn’t have been higher than 40 indoors. How is this okay? What recourse is there? I’m Very confused by this erratic response, lack of information, and overall disregard for the fact that it’s in the teens outside.

  • It’s worth noting that this is the tradeoff with buried power lines. Less frequent power outages, but when things do go wrong, it takes a lot longer to repair.

    • That is simply untrue. For what you pay Pepco and for the right to a utiliity monopoly, they should have responsibility to maintain their underground network just as they would an above ground one. They themselves admitted the issues were from older cables and such. If they can replace them when they break, they should routinely maintain them as they would above ground.

      Stop making excuses for them. People have been without power for over two days that happen to be the coldest two days in a long time.

      Fortunately, my power finally came on last night around 9pm. Sadly, now it’s so cold in my place that the heat pump cannot get the heat over about 50 degrees in the house.

      Two days isn’t the end of the world, but the reality is this was all likely caused by Pepco’s unwillingness to provide what should be ordinary course maintenance and upkeep while pocketing our money.

    • But I will say thank you and give props to the employees who were out in the cold getting this all fixed. They aren’t to blame for the poor decisions of their corporate overlords.

  • Also one reason I really prefer older buildings with oil or gas heating systems … having your heat out when electricity fails in the winter seems horrible to me!! Good luck!

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