- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
- U.S., China race to finish line on ‘invisibility cloak’
- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
Pepco report lauds its reaction to storm
Self-evaluation at odds with customers
Question of the Day
People on both sides of the power lines agree the derecho storm that barreled through the Washington area in late June brought wicked weather, the likes of which have never been experienced in the region.
But that’s where the similar impressions end between Pepco and its users. An event report published this week by Pepco lauds the company’s own ability to react quickly in the face of unprecedented damage, a far cry from the scathing criticism from homeowners and local leaders who were resigned to darkened homes during a week of storm cleanup.
According to the 134-page document, Pepco “was within the restoration guidelines and plans” laid out in thecompany’s pre-existing response and crisis management steps.
“With the advance planning undertaken to prepare for heat related outages and to ensure sufficient staffing for possible weekend thunderstorms and the July 4th holiday, and with the increased complement of linemen on site … Pepco’s adherence to its storm restoration plan allowed the Company to marshal considerable amounts of resources as ‘quickly as permitted’ given the facts and circumstances of this storm.”
The report is just one step in a line of procedures the company must take following a major storm. The large document was presented to the Maryland Public Service Commission on Monday. The commission weighs the report, along with public testimony, in making its final determination about the utility company’s performance — and whether any fines or repercussions should be applied.
Citing Pepco’s “longer history of substandard performance,” the commission denied a requested 4 percent rate increase for the utility company. Just a 1.7 percent boost — solely for the company to comply with new state mandates and regulations — was approved.
D.C. Council members discussed the possibility of putting electrical lines underground, but not before they got in their own jabs about the company’s performance. Council member Mary M. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, called Pepco’s work in cleaning up after the storm, “not an admirable approach on their part.”
The storm, which hit the Pepco service area around 10:15 p.m. June 29, knocked out power to nearly 500,000 Pepco customers, 85 percent of whom were Maryland residents. The derecho, linked to at least 30 deaths nationwide, knocked down thousands of trees and left triple-digit temperatures in its wake, which compounded the ordeal of residents deprived of working refrigerators and air conditioning.
According to the Pepco report, only 75 percent of customers had their power restoredwithin five days — nearly 18,000 residents spent the July 4 evening in the dark.
The company set an estimated time of restoration for 90 percent of its customers by July 6, but beat that estimate by two days. Service to the last customer affected by the storm was restored July 8, nine days after the powerful storm, called a derecho.
Despite the company’s opinion that it “mobilized quickly” to call additional employees and contractors to help with the storm cleanup, state Sen. James C. Rosapepe, a Democrat who represents Prince George’s County, criticized the company’s positive self-assessment. He called the report an effort to “dodge accountability simply by asserting that whatever it did was as ‘quickly’ as possible. Obviously that’s not true.”
Mr. Rosapepe was one of two Maryland lawmakers who proposed a $100 million fine for the utility company as punishment for the lengthy repair time and to help fund a reserve of utility workers in times of emergency.
Sen. Brian Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat who jointly proposed the fine, said the thick report was “a good book about their excuses.”
“The simple fact is, they failed to do an adequate job,” said Mr. Frosh, who lives in a neighborhood that was without power for five days. “I get it was a big storm, so one day, two days, I get that. But five days, that’s not reasonable. They did not provide reliable service, did not restore service fast enough. I think they neglected their infrastructure.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Obenshain concedes Virginia AG race to Herring, ending recount
- Obenshain to concede Virginia AG race
- Mega Millions players dream of a green Christmas with lottery jackpot at $636 million
- Obenshain raises ballot security issue in Va.
- Washington honors an 'African son' at Mandela service at National Cathedral
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Rush weighs in: Maybe Republicans dont dislike Obamacare
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Right-brain investing in a left-brain world. You can do it. I can help.
News and views on the Civil War.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow