- The Washington Times - Friday, July 29, 2005

Potomac Electric Power Co. officials said they expected to return electricity to the final 2,000 customers without power by 8 last night. More than 60,000 Pepco customers were without electricity after Wednesday’s storms. In all, more than 206,000 metropolitan-area homes and businesses were without power after the line of thunderstorms swept through.

“[Thursday] night we knocked the numbers way down,” Pepco spokesman Robert Dobkin said yesterday. “We were up in the teens [Thursday] and [yesterday] we were down to about 2,500. We’ll work throughout the day and hopefully have everybody back on by evening.”

Working 16-hour shifts, 145 Pepco crews fixed power lines and repaired wind damage from trees blown over during the storms yesterday.

Extra crews were brought in from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore to help Pepco’s crews.

Meanwhile, about 200 utility workers from New Jersey assisted Baltimore Gas & Electric to restore power to 28,000 residents Thursday night.

As of yesterday, crews had restored power to about 99,000 of the nearly 100,000 BGE customers who lost power Wednesday. Officials said they expected the remaining 250 to have their power restored by yesterday evening.

Dominion Virginia Power crews worked through the night Thursday to restore power to all customers in their service area.

Storm restoration work was wrapped up early yesterday, and the last Leesburg customer was back on line between 2 and 3 a.m. yesterday , Dominion Virginia officials said.

Leesburg was the hardest-hit area and the last to be completed, they said.

“[Thursday] night in the whole Northern Virginia area, we were down to about 250 customers without power,” Dominion Virginia spokesman Karl Neddenien said. “We start out with the greatest number of people affected by an outage and move down so that the last repairs might restore power to one or two customers, but even those are very important to us.”

Dominion Virginia crews worked constantly from Wednesday evening until early yesterday , taking brief breaks only to rest and resupply.

“We started work right after the storm passed through, and we stuck with it until we had power,” Mr. Neddenien said. “We realized that people were counting on us to restore power.”

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