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Pepco Self-Assessment Defends Storm Response

Pepco's recently released report on outages following last month's storm is mainly in defense of the company's response.

Pepco has released a report largely defending its response to outages caused by .

According to the report, at its peak, the to over 483,639 Pepco customers, including 252,018 in Montgomery County and 158,210 in Prince George’s.

One week later, the report shows 4,411 Montgomery County Pepco customers were still without power, as were 424 Prince George’s customers.

It took Pepco nearly 10 days to fully restore power to all its customers. That occurred at 4:30 a.m. on July 8, according to the report. 

Read the full report PDF on the right. 

In the self-assessment, Pepco defends its response, writing that forecasts did not predict that the storm would hit the area hard, but “when the Derecho crossed the mountains intact, Pepco mobilized quickly, calling on both internal and external resources to respond to the storm.”

But The Washington Post reports that Pepco's assessment may only further frustrate customers who felt the utility underperformed.

“It’s more excuse-making,” Del. Tom Hucker (D-Montgomery), told The Post. “The problem is not the system or the expectations of customers. The problem is Pepco.” 

The report also addresses the utility company’s communications with customers and government officials throughout the week, as well its inability to provide accurate estimations for power restoration.

The company wrote that it recognized “significant additional work remains to be done” to provide better and earlier estimates.

In defense of Pepco's communications efforts, the report includes multiple examples of news releases and media advisories and cites eight daily conference calls with government officials. 

However, Pepco’s telephone report shows that between June 29 and July 8, the number of incoming calls to Pepco was at its peak of 273,912 on June 30, and of those calls, 217,472 were handled by the high volume call answering system, compared to 24,626 handled by representatives.

Officials in multiple jurisdictions, including Montgomery County and , have on numerous occasions.

According to the Maryland Public Service Commission, a public hearing focused on Pepco’s response following the storm is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, in Rockville.

The hearing will take place in the at 100 Maryland Ave. at 7 p.m. Residents who want to speak at the hearing should register that evening at the council office building.

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