Delmarva Power has worked extensively to prepare for the ferocious winds and rains that are impacting the mid-Atlantic region as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued a federal emergency declaration for jurisdictions in this region as immense destruction, extreme flooding and millions of power outages are expected throughout the northeastern United States. Maryland and Delaware governors have declared states of emergency because of the expected unprecedented devastation.
All available utility crews east of the Rocky Mountains have been committed to the restoration effort on the Eastern seaboard. Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI), Delmarva Power’s parent company, has secured line personnel from states as far away as Texas and Mississippi. A significant number of outside line personnel have already arrived at Delmarva Power’s staging grounds at the Fisker Plant in Wilmington, and the Perdue Shorebirds stadium in Salisbury, Md. PHI is working to secure additional commitments as utilities release crews as the storm’s path becomes clear. Crews will be deployed based upon greatest damage and need.
In addition, Delmarva Power has 423 internal and contract line personnel and 292 tree removal personnel on the system and ready for quick mobilization. More than 375 customer call representatives are available to answer calls, 232 assessors are ready to identify storm damage, and approximately 650 support personnel are working in their special storm response roles.
“Delmarva Power has committed all its resources to Hurricane Sandy. We are actively working this storm so we can restore power as quickly and safely as possible,” said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power Region president. “However, based on the unprecedented damage that is expected, the restoration period is likely to extend more than a week.”
Sandy is an agonizingly slow storm and is expected to produce high sustained winds over a prolonged period. Federal safety regulations do not allow overhead work to be performed in sustained winds of 35 mph or more. As a result, the initiation of damage assessment and restoration work will depend on when the storm passes and winds subside. A thorough damage assessment is critical to deploying resources most effectively and efficiently.
For their safety, Delmarva Power urges the public to stay clear of wires hanging loose from poles or lying on the ground. Customers should not attempt to move them. Customers should call Delmarva Power to make the wires safe.
In response to customer feedback, Delmarva Power has made enhancements to online and mobile tools to track and report outages. Delmarva Power urges customers to view the utility website at delmarva.com/storm to learn more about these tools as well as to view safety and storm preparation tips. Customers should report outages through 1-800-898-8045. Customers can also report outages through www.delmarva.com, or through the mobile app, available for downloading at delmarva.com/mobileapp.
To report a natural gas emergency call 302-454-0317.