For Immediate Release
Atlantic City Electric Makes Donation to Red Cross to Recognize Support for Storm Victims
MAYS LANDING, N.J. - As Atlantic City Electric approaches the end of the restoration after massive damage from a severe storm Tuesday, the utility urges customers still without power to report their outages - even if they have reported them previously. Service has been restored in many communities but it is common after major storms to have small, isolated pockets of damage that affect service to small groups and individual customers. Notifying the company about these remaining outages helps us to most efficiently direct our crews and speed the restoration of service to the final customers.
Significant restoration progress continues. Hundreds of crews from Atlantic City Electric, sister utilities Pepco and Delmarva Power, as well as out-of-state utilities, are working around the clock and have restored power to almost 245,000 customers of the approximately 280,000 without power at peak. To put the impact of this storm in perspective, during the height of the 2012 derecho, 206,000 Atlantic City Electric customers had lost power. Hurricane Sandy caused more than 220,000 power outages.
"We are grateful for the support we have received from state and local government, emergency management agencies and first responders as we work to restore power in the wake of this massive storm," said Susan Coan, Atlantic City Electric regional vice president. "This has been a true community response."
Atlantic City Electric has also announced a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross in recognition of its community support.
"We greatly appreciate the partnership and the work of the South Jersey chapter of the American Red Cross, its volunteers and its staff," said Kenneth Parker, senior vice president of Government Affairs and Corporate Citizenship for Pepco Holdings Inc., parent company of Atlantic City Electric. "They have worked tirelessly to serve the needs of our neighbors who have been affected by the storm and are uniquely positioned to do so. The community is grateful for their dedication."
Tuesday's severe storm created straight-line winds in excess of 70 mph throughout many parts of the Atlantic City Electric service territory. In Gloucester County, where some of the worst damage occurred, a macroburst of approximately 85 mph lasted between five and 20 minutes. The National Weather Service said strong macrobursts can cause tornado-force damage. This one brought down trees and power lines, which caused significant damage to Atlantic City Electric's electric system infrastructure. Crews are finding countless utility poles and wires down across the system.
It is important to note that after major storms, weakened trees and limbs can continue to fall days later and cause new outages. Atlantic City Electric will be ready to respond to these and urges customers who experience these outages to report them promptly. In addition, heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast to pass through the region through this evening could cause additional outages on top of those caused by Tuesday's storm. Locally heavy rain may result in urban and poor drainage area flooding. The ground is saturated, and tree root systems may be unstable; this could make trees vulnerable and more likely to cause new outages. These new outages will be added to our outage maps but would not be differentiated, and customers could receive an adjusted estimated time of restoration. Atlantic City Electric is prepared and, again, strongly urges customers to prepare.
Customers are reminded that even if crews are not immediately visible in neighborhoods, they are out and actively engaged in the restoration process. During major events, Atlantic City Electric follows industry best practices to restore power and get the largest number of customers on as quickly and safely as possible. First, repairs are made on high-voltage transmission lines, which can serve tens of thousands of customers. This work requires large numbers of crews and can be lengthy. That work is necessary first before restoration of substations, which can serve 15,000 to 20,000 customers. When substations are operating, crews then turn to distribution feeders, or primary power lines, which can serve more than 1,200 customers. Restoring power to primary lines returns service to most customers on those lines except to those with localized damage. Lastly, individual trouble spots are then repaired.
Atlantic City Electric and support crews from sister utilities as well as PECO and PSE&G number more than 550; in addition, 300 tree personnel and an additional 250 support personnel are working on the restoration. Staging areas have been set up in Washington and Shamong townships to coordinate the mutual assistance crews.
Atlantic City Electric customers still without power should report their outage at www.atlanticcityelectric.com; via the mobile app, available for download at atlanticcityelectric.com/mobile app; or by calling 1-800-833-7476. Power restoration to essentially all customers who can safely accept service is expected by the end of day Sunday.
To keep up-to-date, customers are encouraged to visit www.atlanticcityelectric.com and listen to local radio stations for updates.
Atlantic City Electric Emphasizes Importance of Safety
Safety is paramount for Atlantic City Electric's customers and employees. The company urges the public to stay alert, as conditions will remain hazardous. It is critical to stay clear of downed wires and report them by calling 1-800-833-7476 and following the voice prompts. Other important safety recommendations include:
A full list of safety tips can be found at www.atlanticcityelectric.com/safety-101.aspx.
Customers Asked to Report Power Outages
Customers are asked to report outages at www.atlanticcityelectric.com or by calling 1-800-833-7476 and follow the voice prompts. Customers' reports are vital to Atlantic City Electric's restoration efforts because they help the company identify the location of outages more quickly. Each household should report an outage; a neighbor's call will not indicate that you are out of power as well.
Atlantic City Electric also recommends that when reporting an outage customers request a call back, which means that the company will notify customers to ensure power has been restored. The call back process helps Atlantic City Electric during the area-based restoration process to locate outages that may be specific to customers' homes, such as an issue with the service wire to an individual house.
For additional information and updates, visit www.atlanticcityelectric.com. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atlanticcityelectric and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/acelecconnect. Our mobile app is available at www.atlanticcityelectric.com/mobileapp.