Props to Pepco (!)
Pepco has taken a lot of heat for its performance in recent years, particularly following this summer's derecho—but so far, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it looks like Pepco customers are holding up pretty well. Let's do a quick comparison of a few of the power companies in the region after the derecho and now.
Peak outages after the derecho:
Pepco (D.C. and Maryland): 483,639
Baltimore Gas and Electric: 429,841
Dominion (NoVa): ~500,000
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative: ~37,000
Outages this morning, as of 11 a.m.:
Baltimore Gas and Electric: 139,690
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative: 14,959
Everyone fared better across the board this time around. But while Baltimore Gas and Electric clearly got hit hardest by Sandy, due to the geography of the storm, Pepco had the biggest improvement from storm to storm.
Clay Anderson, a Pepco spokesman, credits the predictability of Sandy for the more limited impact on residents.
"The derecho gave us just hours of warning," he says. "Hurricane Sandy started in the Caribbean six, seven days ago, so the East Coast had time to prepare."
Anderson says Pepco's 1,500 employees have all taken over secondary storm responsibilities to respond to Sandy. Additionally, Pepco brought in crews from outside the area to help with the restoration effort, which should allow for a relatively speedy restoration of power to those who have lost it.
After the derecho, the average Pepco outage time was 26 hours. Anderson couldn't speculate on how long it was likely to be this time around, but he says there'll be an estimate this afternoon. Pepco is holding a press conference at 3 p.m. on the aftermath of the storm.
Anderson says there were about 41,000 outages among Pepco customers at the height of the storm last night. Now, he says, that figure is down to about 18,500 and dropping.
This is the first, and possibly the last, time I'll say this, but: Props to Pepco.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery