Outages Could be Widespread; Restoration Could be Multi-Day Event
Utility Requests Mutual Assistance Crews; Many Already on Site
Customers Urged to Prepare
MAYS LANDING, N.J. – Atlantic City Electric is closely monitoring the approach of Hurricane Irene, which could strike the Atlantic City Electric service territory early Saturday. Weather services are predicting that our area will experience heavy rain and high winds over a sustained period this weekend, which could cause widespread and extended power outages. The subsequent restoration could be a multi-day event. Atlantic City Electric has initiated its Incident Response Plan and is strongly urging customers to prepare for the possibility of outages.
“Hurricane Irene has the potential to cause widespread outages that could require crews to work around the clock restoring service,” said Atlantic City Electric Region President Vince Maione. “This is an all-hands event and every employee will assume a second job to support restoration efforts. I urge all customers to prepare for possible extended outages.”
Atlantic City Electric Mobilizes Crews and Staff
In anticipation of the storm, Atlantic City Electric and its parent company, Pepco Holdings, Inc. began aggressively planning and preparing for the storm on Monday. Early on, Pepco Holdings, Inc. requested the assistance of 600 personnel from other utilities; 150 from First Energy in Ohio already have been made available. They will be deployed depending on the location of the greatest damage. Atlantic City Electric is keeping utility contractors on call and has secured tree crews from Asplundh. Our line crews are prepared to work extended hours and the company has alerted additional staff to provide support services, including customer service staff.
Atlantic City Electric is continuing to participate on Mid-Atlantic Mutual Assistance and Southeastern Electric Exchange conference calls with other utilities to request additional field crew assistance as needed. The company has been in contact with state and local emergency management agencies to ensure a coordinated community response.
Depending on the severity of the storm, damage to Atlantic City Electric ’s electrical infrastructure could be extensive and power restoration could be a multiple-day event. After severe storms, assessing damage and estimating when customers will be restored could take up to 24 hours after the heart of the storm has moved from the area. Crews are deployed to restore service only when weather conditions become safe.
Customers Urged to Prepare and Be Safe
Atlantic City Electric urges its customers to prepare for potential power outages and act to ensure their safety. Here are some tips:
· Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
· If you or someone you know uses life-support equipment that requires electricity to operate, identify a location with emergency power capabilities and make plans to go there or to a hospital during a prolonged outage.
· Assemble an emergency "storm kit." Include a battery-powered radio or television, flashlight, a first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, special needs items, an insulated cooler and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.
· Keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods and bottled water and have a hand-operated can opener available.
· Have a telephone with a cord or cell phone to use as a backup. Cordless telephones require electricity to operate, and won't work if there is an outage.
· Protect your electronic equipment. Unplug sensitive electronics or plug computers and other sensitive equipment into surge suppressors, and consider a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for temporary battery backup power.
· Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if you have an electrically operated sump pump, you should not turn off your power.
· Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
· Follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
· Take cover if necessary.
· Stay away from downed wires.
· Call 1-800-833-7476 to report a downed wire or an outage.
Additional information may be found at www.a tlanticcityelectric .com.
Atlantic City Electric, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric delivery services to more than 548,000 customers in southern New Jersey.