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Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 07/30/2010

Pepco says outages down to 2,400

By Washington Post editors

Power outages are down to 2,400 for Pepco's customers in the Washington region, the company says.

Outages have fallen to 956 in Montgomery County for the first time since customers lost electricity following last Sunday's thunderstorms. In the District, about 1,000 customers remained without power, and about 400 in Prince George's were without electricity according to Pepco's estimates.

--Rick Rojas

By Washington Post editors  | July 30, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  DC, Maryland  
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Look, I know storms can interrupt life … power lines can be knocked down by the wind or ice, trees can fall on things, the earth can open up and swallow whole houses … this isn’t about life. This isn’t about the things we learn to accept and get on with our lives afterward. This is about GREED, and ARROGANCE, and CORRUPTION, and above all, INCOMPETENCE. I’ve lived in almost a dozen different parts of this country (and in Europe too, but that’s a different story) – I’ve lived in the Northeast (Boston), in New Jersey, New York City, in the mid-west (land ‘o’ tornadoes), in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle), in Northern California (San Francisco), and Southern California (Los Angeles). I’ve experienced NOTHING LIKE what is getting to be routine around here. In the past five or six years, I’ve had power outages in this area, lasting a total of more than a week – I’ve had to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of food from my freezer and refrigerator and scramble to get work-from-home projects completed in other peoples’ homes. Only in the DC area – both Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland. From what I’ve heard from people fortunate enough not to be from here, this kind of outage NEVER occurs with this kind of frequency and for this kind of duration elsewhere. Power companies (and local governments) in other parts of the country have plans to adapt to local conditions.
Pepco is, on a local level, no different than British Petroleum on a national or global level. The company has a responsibility (or should have) to behave as a decent corporate citizen – it needs to produce a safe and reliable product, delivered to us at a reasonable price, in a timely, responsible manner. It needs to be available for our questions and comments. It needs to communicate with us honestly and accurately. And it needs to be considerate and polite. Because, like the Post Office, WE HAVE NO CHOICE but to consume Pepco’s product and to deal with its employees. Thanks to our local government, which has seen fit to employ Pepco to plunder and frustrate us.
Here’s the simple argument: The DC area gets snow in the winter sometimes. It gets thunderstorms in the summer, all the time. Power companies can make their plans accordingly. WHOOPS!!!! Pepco has no plans. No emergency plan, no crisis communication plan, and apparently, no plan at all for communicating with its customers.
A comment on Pepco’s routine maintenance work about working "closely with Montgomery County to trim trees in public space. Again, many of the trees that cause outages are on private property.” Let’s examine this claim rationally … trees on private property that overhang public roads or sidewalks, much less that imperil public power lines can certainly be trimmed without owners’ permission. Most trees lining the streets of Montgomery County are certainly NOT private: Pepco’s claim is disingenuous at best and absurdly outrageous at worst.
Is there ANYONE in local government in charge?

Posted by: nickalexander | July 31, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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