Delmarva Power prepares for potentially devastating hurricane

Extensive outages could take multiple days to restore
October 29, 2012

Delmarva Power is aggressively executing its Incident Response Plan in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, which has the potential of causing devastating damage to the electric system. Heavy rain and high winds are predicted for the Delmarva Peninsula over a sustained period.  These severe weather conditions could cause widespread and extended power outages as trees, heavily covered with leaves, may fall on power lines, bringing down spans of wire, breaking poles and damaging other electrical equipment.

Delmarva Power has called all customers with a recorded message to urge them to prepare for hurricane conditions by reviewing their emergency plans.  The company also has reached out to customers who need power for critical medical equipment, urging them to make plans to relocate to a facility with electricity in case of extended outages.

In addition to urging customers to prepare, Delmarva Power also is preparing for the severe weather:

  • Employees are assuming their special storm-response roles.
  • Delmarva Power’s line personnel are on standby and contract line personnel and contract tree trimming crews are available for quick mobilization.
  • The call center is preparing for around-the-clock operations.
  • The company is in close contact with state and local emergency management agencies to ensure a coordinated response.

Pepco Holdings, Inc., Delmarva Power’s parent company, requested 3,700 additional personnel from our mutual assistance partners. The company has received commitments for 1,473 crews and is working to secure additional commitments.

Once weather conditions become safe, personnel will be deployed to conduct a damage assessment and begin restoring service.  Since Sandy is expected to be a slow moving storm accompanied by high winds, it may be several days before personnel can begin damage assessment and restoration efforts.

In the event severe weather causes widespread damage to the electric system, Delmarva Power repairs equipment that restores the largest number of customers first.  This is similar to clearing roads after a snow storm.  Major roads and thoroughfares must be cleared first before secondary roads and neighborhood streets are plowed.  Generally the sequence is as follows:

• Downed live wires or potentially life-threatening situations and public health and safety facilities without power.

• Transmission lines serving thousands of customers.

• Substation equipment.

• Main distribution lines serving large numbers of customers.

• Secondary lines serving neighborhoods.

• Service lines to individual homes and businesses.

Call 1-800-898-8042 to report an outage, downed wires and life-threatening situations. To report a natural gas emergency call 302-454-0317. Report through the mobile app or at