East Coast Storm Update: Power may take days to restore

Heavy winds clocked at 70 miles per hour uprooted trees and knocked down power lines and poles on the East Coast, hitting the Baltimore/Washington region very hard at about 10:30 p.m. Friday. And it’s not over. Central Maryland could also get hit this weekend.

Those without power may have to wait – perhaps up to a week, officials said.

While crews are working to restore the power, customers may be waiting for days to get their power back, Pepco said. In addition, crews from Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma will help Pepco restore power to about 443,000 customers. Those crews are expected to arrive on Monday.

Pepco says it could take about a week before all customers are back in service.

“We have done a lot to prepare for storms by improving our restoration processes, but no amount of preparation can significantly speed the mammoth task before us,” said Thomas H Graham, president of the  Pepco Region. “It is a nuts and bolt restoration — tree by downed tree, pole by pole, wire by wire, house by house.”

All outages and downed wires should be reported to 1-877-737-2662, through pepco.com or through the mobile app.

Meanwhile Baltimore Gas & Electric reports it has  restored service to 202,000 customers impacted by the storm but more than 100,000 others are still without power. BGE requested help from Florida, Mississippi, Michigan, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. Trucks are en route to help but they won’t be in the region until Monday or Tuesday.

“BGE crews continue to assess the damage to our system while aggressively working to restore power to public safety facilities such as hospitals, 911 centers, water treatment and pumping facilities as well as the  company’s 33kV feeder network, which provides the backbone for BGE’s electric distribution network,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “Once these facilities have been addressed  and we’ve completed our initial damage assessment, field assignments will be prioritized in a fashion that restores  service to the greatest number of customers at one time. Consideration will also be given to customers who have  been out of service the longest. Given the scope and magnitude of the damage we’re seeing thus far, we fully  anticipate restoration activities to extend deep into next week.”

BGE said customers should report downed wires and outages by calling 1 -877 – 778 – 2222.