• Atlantic City Electric Prepares for Arrival of Hurricane Irene

    Aug 26, 2011

    Customers Urged to Prepare for Power Outages

    MAYS LANDING, N.J. – Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI), the parent company of Atlantic City Electric, is closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Irene which is expected to hit the region late Saturday evening and continue through Sunday. The National Weather Service has stated that our service territories could experience “extremely destructive” conditions, including high winds, heavy rains, and flooding. Atlantic City Electric has activated its Incident Response Plans in all of its service territories and urges customers to prepare for potential power outages, with the possibility of multi-day outages in some areas.

    “Based on the weather updates we have received from the weather services, there is a very real possibility for significant damage to our electrical infrastructure,” said Joseph M. Rigby, Chairman, President and CEO of Pepco Holdings, Inc. “Planning and preparation are critical as this storm approaches. We cannot stress enough to each and every one of our customers in the D.C., Maryland, Delmarva Peninsula, and southern New Jersey service regions, that customers’ safety and the safety of our crews is our top priority.”

    Additional Crews Added to Handle Storm Damage

    This is an all-hands event and every employee has assumed a second job to support storm preparation and restoration efforts. Additionally, the company is arranging for mutual assistance help from our utility partners located in areas unaffected by the storm.

    “Our first priority is the safety of our customers and our crews. Repair crews will begin assessing damage and making repairs once it has been determined that it is safe for them to do so. We cannot send crews out safely until sustained winds drop below 35 miles an hour which is an Occupational Health and Safety (OHSA) requirement,” said Mike Maxwell, Vice President of Asset Management for PHI.

    Maxwell went on to note several key precautions:

    • Do not approach or attempt to move downed power lines.
    • Immediately report damage or an outage to Atlantic City Electric ’s customer call center at 1-800-833-7476 or complete an outage report at www.a tlanticcityelectric. com
    • Allow trained line crews to handle any damage caused by the storm.
    • Atlantic City Electric’s website will have the most up-to-date information regarding service and customers are recommended to go there for status updates.

    Maxwell added, “After a severe storm such as this, 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. After that assessment is completed, we will then prioritize work, determine resources needed, and assign crews. Atlantic City Electric will restore power by targeting wires serving critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, fire stations, and police stations, as well as those serving the greatest number of customers. Again, after a storm of this magnitude, we anticipate that this will be a multi-day outage situation.”

    Tips to help prepare for the storm include:

    • Visit www.atlanticcityelectric.com for preparation tips and follow the advice of your local emergency management officials.
    • Assemble an emergency "storm kit," including:
      • A battery-powered radio or television
      • A flashlight
      • A first-aid kit
      •  Battery-powered or windup clock
      • Extra batteries
      • Special needs items, such as an insulated cooler
      • A list of important and emergency phone numbers.
    • 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.
    • Keep at least a three-day supply per-person of non-perishable foods and bottled water, as well as a hand-operated can opener.
    • 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.
    • Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
    • Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
    • If you use an personal generator, please take all recommended precautions
    • Take cover if necessary
    • Stay away from downed wires. Call 1-800-833-7476 to report a downed wire.

    “A storm of this proportion will present significant challenges. We will continue to provide updates to the media and we encourage customers to be patient and understand that we will restore power when it’s safe to do so. Our entire community is facing a storm of major proportions. The safety of our customers and our crews is our top priority,” Maxwell concluded.

    Additional information may be found at www.atlanticcityelectric.com

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    About PHI : Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM) is one of the largest energy delivery companies in the mid-Atlantic region, serving about 1.9 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and New Jersey. PHI subsidiaries Pepco, Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric provide regulated electricity service; Delmarva Power also provides natural gas service. PHI also provides energy efficiency and renewable energy services through Pepco Energy Services.

    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 .