Many in Dupont Still without Power – “Almost 36 hours now!!”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

@WantToRunn sums it up best though I’ve been getting many emails from those equally frustrated:

“@PoPville they [Pepco] are not providing any time frame! [for restoration in Dupont] This is ridiculous! Almost 36 hours now!!”

Then there is this message from Pepco’s website:

“At this time we are aware that our outage map is not consistently reflecting estimated restoration times and the number of customer outages reported near Dupont Circle. We are working to resolve this issue as part of the overall restoration effort.”

From the Dupont listserv:

“This is an update from Pepco.

Please be advised that, during the process of restoration, we have identified that additional stretches of secondary cables will have to be replaced between 19th and 20th ST, and at 19th and Riggs Pl. PLEASE NOTE THAT AS A RESULT OF THIS, THERE WILL BE NUMEROUS CUSTOMERS THAT WILL REMAIN OUT OF POWER AFTER 4PM. Once the assessment of the area is completed we will be in a better position to establish an ETR for these remaining customers. We will remain in contact to provide updates as we have them.”

17 Comment

  • justinbc

    Wow. Sorry folks, hope everyone is at least safe.

  • Hope no one in this area has a salt water fish tank! Ouch.

  • I got a call from a real live Pepco rep that said power will be restored by 10 tonight and hopefully sooner.. I booked a hotel tonight nearby because I don’t trust them

  • Thank you for your diligence in keeping us informed. You’ve done a better job than any of the local radio or TV news outlets. PEPCO’s map now says there are 36 customers with outages, but this latest update from PEPCO seems to indicate there my be far more outages than that.

    Many people who believed PEPCO yesterday when they were told that power would be restored at 1130am, then 5pm, then 7pm, and then 11pm stayed in their homes and shivered. Fortunately, many others were able to take refuge in the homes of neighbors and friends who had heat.

    Once all power is restored, we need to take a serious look at what happened and where the response to this outage fell short.

    • Blithe

      I’m asking these questions out of complete ignorance, so please bear with me. Why do you say that the response to the outage fell short? This is an older city with aging and aged systems. Sometimes mechanical things fail, particularly those that might be responsive to the stresses of weather extremes and traffic. Fixing them takes time — and often, it’s difficult to predict at the outset how long it will take to complete something. (I’m speaking from my own experiences rather than specifically about this situation.) When you say that “the response to this outage fell short” — are you referring to communication problems? — Some laxness or other difficulties in addressing the problems, which might be compounded by the extreme-for-DC weather, or something else?
      I’m not belittling in any way the hardships associated with an extended power outage. I am wondering from a practical standpoint, what you mean by taking “a serious look at what happened ….”.

      • Communication. Of course things break, and you can’t always predict how long it will take to fix them. But we need to know what’s going on, and how to respond and take measures to be safe.

        The temperature was below freezing and people didn’t know what to do. PEPCO did not have an outreach person for this matter, and city officials have complained how hard it was for them to get in touch with PEPCO management to find out what was actually going on.

        People repeatedly had to put up with constantly changing – and contradictory – predictions and explanations when their health and safety was at stake. They kept being told power would be restored soon, and it kept getting colder. THIS WAS NOT SOME SUMMER THUNDERSTORM OUTAGE IN 90 DEGREE WEATHER. THIS INVOLVED SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES AND MANY SENIOR RESIDENTS.

        People did not have access to the information they needed to make an informed decision on where to safely spend the night. One colleague of mine – who is young and healthy – spent the night in her home under four blankets, shivering, because she believed the promises. I wonder how many elderly residents did the same, and at what risk to their health.

        The Alert DC function also failed to provide any useful information other than an initial report of an outage at 630am. From 630am into the evening, there was nothing.

        If this was an emergency preparedness test, the communication response earned an F.

        • Blithe

          Thanks for your detailed response. I wonder what the protocol is for this type of situation — particularly given the extreme weather. Once it’s clear that the outage will be for an extended period of time, would PEPCO contact the city and/or an entity such as the Red Cross to determine if there are people at particular risk and to provide interventions? I also wonder if there is a system that identifies people who are chronically at-risk (i.e. someone on oxygen, for example) who might have a critical need for assistance — but little or no ability to independently access services on their own behalf in the event of a power outage.

  • seriously? our power goes out in my neighborhood 4-5 times a year on average and it never gets any media attention (or repeat coverage on popville). get over yourselves!

    • Perhaps you should get a better job and move to a better neighborhood?

      • +10000. No, + 1 Million.

        How many of those 4-5 times are when it’s 20 degrees outside?

        Seriously, I slept on the floor of my living room in front of a gas fireplace praying I wouldn’t die of carbon monoxide poisoning. At the very least, Pepco could have enough knowledge to rightly inform people whether to seek accommodations elsewhere. God help those with kids or pets who can’t just go crash on a friend’s couch.

        It isn’t that the power is out. It’s that it’s going to be 10 degrees outside tonight and no one has any clue whether they’ll have power tonight or not.

  • Quincy St Neighbor

    So sorry, southerly neighbors. Stay warm and stay safe!

  • Perhaps this is Pepco’s new strategy to convince Washingtonians that selling themselves to Exelon is a great idea. Clearly they can’t handle the responsibilities of a public utility, poor things. Don’t fall for it!

  • could someone please direct me to a link to sign up for the dupont circle listserv? thanks!

  • A friend who was one of those still without power as of about 3:30 today just reported that her cat sitter went into the apartment to find that the electricity is back on. Last night when the cat sitter went in, the apartment was at 47 degrees; now it is at 57 degrees — so heat is working to warm everything back up. I sure hope that this is true for everyone among the last group that Pepco had to restore.

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