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Posted at 5:40 AM ET, 07/27/2010

Tues. storm roundup: Outages, closures

By Mike McPhate

This post was updated at 11:15 a.m.

* Live Q&A, 1 p.m.: Pepco spokesman with the latest *
* Reader map: Plot the storm damage | Ask for a fix *
* Forum: Share your storm stories *
* User gallery: Share your storm photos | Post gallery *
* Tips on determining if food is safe during outage *
* Human toll: Six-year-old boy is youngest of 3 victims *
* Weather Gang: Why storms packed nasty punch *

Outages remain widespread across the Washington region Tuesday as crews work to repair toppled utility poles and lines. Pepco officials said this morning that they expect power to be restored to most residents in their coverage area by Thursday.

The company said customers can call 877-737-2662 after 3 p.m. to get a better idea of when power will be restored.

-- Rick Rojas

Here’s a roundup of the latest information on closures, outages, cooling centers, emergency contacts and more.

OUTAGES
-- The outage numbers as of 10 p.m. Tuesday: Pepco: 84,892, Dominion Power in Northern Virginia: 8, BG&E: 78

-- Comcast experienced "technical issues" Tuesday morning that knocked out some generators serving Montgomery County customers, but the problem was repaired by about 9:15 a.m., spokeswoman Alisha Martin said. Customers should be getting normal service as power returns to homes, she said. If Comcast customers are continuing to have problems, they can call: 800-266-2278.

-- All WSSC water restrictions have been lifted.

-- See government buildings, schools, libraries, and senior centers without power under the 'closures' category below.

TRAFFIC & TRANSIT
-- 203 traffic signals remain dark in Montgomery County. Police officers are directing traffic at 60 intersections and temporary stop signs have been located at others. More than 20 signals are dark in D.C. Motorists are advised to treat dark intersections as four-way stops. Get the latest traffic conditions at Dr. Gridlock. View the Post's live traffic map.

-- Ride On will operate Tuesday on a normal schedule. Expect some delays due to signal outages and detours. Check www.rideonbus.com for more information.

WEATHER
-- The Capital Weather Gang brings news of relief. Humidity is expected to be slightly higher than Monday, but will be comfortable as temperatures reach their peak into the upper 80s to low 90s. Get the full forecast at the Weather Gang blog.

map
Map: Plotting the damage. Add a placemark.

PHONE NUMBERS

-- To report power outages, call Pepco at 877-737-2662, Allegheny Power at 800-255-3443, Baltimore Gas & Electric at 877-778-2222, or Dominion at 866-366-4357.

To report “hot” wires or sparking wires, especially those across roadways, call 9-1-1.

To report downed trees in the public right-of-way, call 3-1-1, or, if calling from outside Montgomery County, 240-777-0311.

COOLING CENTERS
-- Cooling centers have been established throughout D.C., Montgomery County and Prince George's County. They include:

Montgomery County
Richard Montgomery High School
250 Richard Montgomery Drive
Rockville

The District
Deanwood Recreation Center
1350 49th St NE
Washington, DC
202-671-3077

Emery Recreation Center
5801 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC
202-576-3211

Chevy Chase Community Center
5601 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC
202-282-2204

Harry Thomas Sr Recreation Center
1743 Lincoln Rd NE
Washington, DC
202-576-5642

Prince George’s County
The New Carrollton Nutrition Center
6016 Princess Garden Parkway
Lanham

Camp Springs Senior Center
6420 Allentown Road
Camp Springs
For more information call 301-265-8450

Rollingcrest Community Center
6120 Sargent Road
Chillum
301-853-2005

Kentland Community Center
2411 Pinebrook Ave.
Landover
301-386-2278

Station 810, Laurel Volunteer Fire Department No. 1, Inc.
7411 Cherry Lane
Laurel

Station 855, Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association, Inc.
3716 Rhode Island Avenue
Brentwood

Station 818, The Glenn Dale Fire Association, Inc.
11900 Glenn Dale Boulevard
Glenn Dale

Station 820, Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
14815 Pratt Street
Upper Marlboro

Station 829, Silver Hill Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad
3900 Old Silver Hill Road
Silver Hill

Station 832, Allentown Road Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
8709 Allentown Road
Fort Washington

Bladensburg Community Center
4500 57th Ave.
Bladensburg
301-277-2124

Palmer Park Community Center
7720 Barlowe Road
Landover
301-773-5665

Peppermill Community Center
610 Hill Rd.
Landover
301-350-8410

Oakcrest Community Center
1300 Capitol Heights Blvd.
Capitol Heights
301-736-5355

Hillcrest Heights Community Center
2300 Oxon Run Drive
Hillcrest Heights
301-505-0896

Suitland Community Center
5600 Regency Parkway
Forestville
301-736-3518

Marlow Heights Community Center
2800 St. Clair Dr.
Marlow Heights
301-423-0505

CLOSURES
-- All Montgomery County swimming pools except the Montgomery Aquatics Center and Wheaton/Glenmont will be open.

-- Montgomery County government departments located at 255 Rockville Pike are closed.

-- Montgomery College's Rockville campus will remain closed Tuesday.

-- Trash and recycling pickups in Montgomery County will operate on normal schedules.

-- 59 Montgomery County schools facilities remain without power and all activities at those buildings are canceled. Also without power are the following libraries: Potomac, Little Falls, Aspen Hill, Davis, Silver Spring, Kensington, Noyes, and Wheaton. Also without power are the Holiday Park and Schweinhaut senior centers.

Montgomery County Recreation Department Summer camps, programs and activities will be conducted Tuesday expect for those held at the closed schools.

The closed schools are:
Oakland Terrace Elementary School
A. Mario Loiederman Middle School
Albert Einstein High School
Arcola Elementary School
Bannockburn Elementary School
Beall Elementary School
Bethesda Elementary School
Bradley Hills Elementary School
Broad Acres Elementary School
Brookhaven Elementary School
Burning Tree Elementary School
Burnt Mills Elementary School
Cabin John Middle School (at Tilden Center)
Candlewood Elementary School
Carderock Springs Elem School
Chevy Chase Elementary School
Concord Center
Darnestown Elementary School
Forest Knolls Elem School
Garrett Park Elementary School ( at Grosvenor)
Glen Haven Elementary School
Glenallan Elementary School
Harmony Hills Elem School
Highland Elementary School
Highland View Elem School
James Hubert Blake High School
John F. Kennedy High School
Jones Lane Elementary School
Julius West Middle School
Kemp Mill Elementary School
Kensington-Parkwood Elem School
Luxmanor Elementary School
Mark Twain School (Blair Ewing)
Mill Creek Towne Elem School
Montrose Center
Newport Mill Middle School
North Chevy Chase Elem School
Parkland Middle School
Potomac Elementary School
R. Sargent Shriver Elem School
Redland Middle School
Robert Frost Middle School
Rock Terrace School
Rocking Horse Center
Seven Locks Elementary School (Radnor)
Sligo Middle School
Sprinmill Center
Stephen Knolls School
Stonegate Elementary School
Strathmore Elementary School
Thomas Edison HS of Technology
Thomas W. Pyle Middle School
Tilden Middle School
Viers Mill Elementary School
Westland Middle School
Westover Elementary School
Wheaton High School
Woodlin Elementary School
Wyngate Elementary School

Did you capture photos of the devastation from Sunday's thunderstorm?

Upload your best images of the storm and the post-storm destruction to our storm user gallery.

By Mike McPhate  | July 27, 2010; 5:40 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Maryland  
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Comments

How about some information on cable outages? Nowadays, this may be the next most important utility after electricity, since many people have other services (Internet and phone) attached to their cable service. Since the storm we have had brief periods of time when our TV and Internet were working and long periods of time when they were down. Off, on, off, on, and now off again.

BTW, we have Comcast and are in Rockville.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | July 27, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

--PEPCO once again seems to have been totally caught by surprise that we have thunderstorms, sometimes severe ones, in the DC Metro area in the summer time. They also seem unaware that in the winter it snows here, sometimes a lot!

Today, Tuesday July 27 we were told there will still NO orders fo fix our power outages and we call daily and check the map online. On Butternut Ct. where we live there are more than 5 retirees plus a 90+ year old man sweltering in the heat. IN addition most of the traffic lights on main cross streets are still out--businesses are still shuttered and the support crews from Ohio are only arriving today?

WHERE IS PEPCO? WHERE IS JOE RIGBY, your CEO?

My guess is Mr. Rigby with his 2.3 million dollar salary did NOT lose power and I suspect he doesn't even use PEPCO because he knows better! And with consolidated earnings of ONLY 36 million for the First Quarter of 2010, certainly improving and strengthening the grid to provide actual SERVICE is not high on Pepco's list of priorities?

For 29 years we have dutifully paid our bills 100% of the time but we do not nor have received anything close to 100% electrical service. We lose power way too often throughout the year and perhaps the residents of Butternut Ct. should pay our electric bills commensurate to the service we receive.

I am sure PEPCO would appreciate receiving intermittent payments based on the actual electricity provided to our homes! What do you think?

The best PEPCO can say is that the majority of service will be restored by THURSDAY- almost 5!! let me repeat that 5 days after the storm--Not only is that UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE but who is going to repay the thousands upon thousands of dollars in lost foods that each and every home has had to throw out due to spoilage? JOE RIGBY?

But I am very happy Pepco Holdings is issuing a dividend to it's stockholders --

PEPCO-The BP of Montgomery County!

Posted by: prcmd | July 27, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@prcmd

What an excellent comment! Can you please post this under the story so more people can read it?

Thanks!

Posted by: Tiffany123 | July 27, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The EXCUSE during the snow storms was trucks and work crews could NOT negotiate the SNOW covered streets. OK, that's legitimate. But NOW it's summer time. I for one don't see any streets blocked by SNOW?!?! What's the EXCUSE this time?!?!

Posted by: Bigrcube | July 27, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

How about some information on cable outages? Nowadays, this may be the next most important utility after electricity, since many people have other services (Internet and phone) attached to their cable service. Since the storm we have had brief periods of time when our TV and Internet were working and long periods of time when they were down. Off, on, off, on, and now off again.

BTW, we have Comcast and are in Rockville.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | July 27, 2010 8:28 AM
__________________

I agree. I just got Internet back sometime overnight; cable is still out. I also have Comcast in Downtown Silver Spring. I tried calling, but the 301 # was always busy and the 800 # just offered a pre-recorded message, which basically said "we know" and did not offer a timetable.

I know this isn't as dire as no power, but it should be included in the reporting.

Posted by: bmp246 | July 27, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Memo to Montgomery County Councilmen:
Re: How to run the perfect Nanny State:
Many believe Montgomery County residents use too much electricity for their own good. All those big screen TV's, Playstations, Xbox's, Huge freezers and refrigerators, and computers lead to couch potatos. In order to promote green and back to nature, please adopt the following policies:
1. Stop all tree trimming or other maintenance on the tree canopy.
2. Use the savings to pave speed bumps everywhere, and erect speed cameras and stoplights cameras at every intersection to ensure county residents slow down to enjoy the untouched native tree canopy. This has the added benefit of draining the treasury so no money remains for maintaining the power grid.
3. Tax the only power generating company located in the County (Mirant) out of existence so that power can be transported and delivered more reliably over hundreds of miles of exposed high voltage wires from coal fired plants in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. Say you are doing it to prevent global warming.
4 Raise the County tax on electricity by some absurd amount amount, say 300%, just for laughs.
5. Make certain that the Pepco per kilowatt charge to Mont Co residents is if not the highest in the Nation, then close to it.
6. Add a few extra staff persons to each of the nine councilmen's offices, and make certain they too participate, along with all the other county employees, in the most generous pension and health care benefits available in the nation. This has the added benefit of ensuring there is no money to maintain the power grid.
7. Wait for the next entirely foreseeable weather event (lightening ice, snow, wind or hurricane remnant-- this area gets at least one, even two of these every year or so) to knock everything down.
8. Watch and enjoy (from the executive's air conditioned office, powered by a natural gas generator paid for by the resdidents) as your neighbors enjoy their back to nature moments afforded when the electricity goes down for several days, preferably in the July heat or February cold.
9. Hope that the people continue don't notice your policies at the next election.
Good luck!

Posted by: ubimea | July 27, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It's time for a public outcry. Our elected officials need to make PEPCO accountable and force them to solve this problem once and for all. It is time Pepco the wires underground and started delivering quality service to the area.

Enough is enough.

Posted by: xman63 | July 27, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, we heard both Gov. O'Malley and County Executive Legget promise to do everything possible to make sure that PEPCO responded promptly and kept everyone informed. Yet once again, PEPCO has failed to do either. Huge areas of the country remain dark, utility trucks are nowhere to be seen, and getting any kind of information, much less action, from PEPCO is impossible.

Isobel, the Blizzard of 2010, and now this. How many more times must we suffer through unacceptable levels of non-service, and non-response and non-communication by PEPCO, the county and the state?

Posted by: BethesdaDad | July 27, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@bmp246 @Dougmacintyre

I'm gonna try to get some info on cable outages. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Mike McPhate | July 27, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Wonder what will happen when all the affected Mont Co residents decline to pay for the electricity they didn't receive while PEPCO screws around...

Posted by: mika_england | July 27, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

will the post be leading an investigation into how PEPCO has handled this? i live in an area with underground power lines and will be without power until thursday at the earliest. i come from detroit, so i know about bad infrastructure, but this is ridiculous. there is no way PEPCO has been working around the clock to fix this ...

Posted by: sarahcccook | July 27, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

PEPCO's response (or better yet, LACK of response) is a disgrace!! I haven't seen one Pepco truck in my neighborhood in SE D.C. They haven't even assigned a crew to our neighborhood yet. All of the area Publi Utility Commissions need to fire up Pepco about this. BG&E and Dominion Power are getting their customers back on line and Pepco has done nothing in comparison. Didn't they experience the same storm as the Pepco customers? This is not about a bad storm, this is about poor preparation and poor management. Third world countries have better responses than this!!

Posted by: PepperDr | July 27, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Please cover Comcast's outages. We know electricity is the highest priority but why was cable out if we had electricity? Why did it come on at 8pm Monday and then go off early Tuesday? Now it is back--sort of. We need internet service and Comcast for many of us is how we get it so the Post should cover it. Comcast has made contacting it more complicated than previously. Now it asks for your account number even if one is calling in using the phone number for the account.

Posted by: fancar2000 | July 27, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Please cover Comcast's outages. We know electricity is the highest priority but why was cable out if we had electricity? Why did it come on at 8pm Monday and then go off early Tuesday? Now it is back--sort of. We need internet service and Comcast for many of us is how we get it so the Post should cover it. Comcast has made contacting it more complicated than previously. Now it asks for your account number even if one is calling in using the phone number for the account.

Posted by: fancar2000 | July 27, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Please cover Comcast's outages. We know electricity is the highest priority but why was cable out if we had electricity? Why did it come on at 8pm Monday and then go off early Tuesday? Now it is back--sort of. We need internet service and Comcast for many of us is how we get it so the Post should cover it. Comcast has made contacting it more complicated than previously. Now it asks for your account number even if one is calling in using the phone number for the account.

Posted by: fancar2000 | July 27, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Please cover Comcast's outages. We know electricity is the highest priority but why was cable out if we had electricity? Why did it come on at 8pm Monday and then go off early Tuesday? Now it is back--sort of. We need internet service and Comcast for many of us is how we get it so the Post should cover it. Comcast has made contacting it more complicated than previously. Now it asks for your account number even if one is calling in using the phone number for the account.

Posted by: fancar2000 | July 27, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Please cover Comcast's outages. We know electricity is the highest priority but why was cable out if we had electricity? Why did it come on at 8pm Monday and then go off early Tuesday? Now it is back--sort of. We need internet service and Comcast for many of us is how we get it so the Post should cover it. Comcast has made contacting it more complicated than previously. Now it asks for your account number even if one is calling in using the phone number for the account. We are in Rockville.

Posted by: fancar2000 | July 27, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@bmp246 @Dougmacintyre

Comcast experienced "technical issues" Tuesday morning that knocked out some generators serving Montgomery County customers, but the problem was repaired by about 9:15 a.m., spokeswoman Alisha Martin said. Customers should be getting normal service as power returns to homes, she said. If Comcast customers are continuing to have problems, they can call: 800-266-2278.

Posted by: Mike McPhate | July 27, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@ Mike McPhate
That might be the Comcast party line, but it is a joke. I've been without cable and internet since the storm hit, and never lost power. And calling Comcast provides no useful information (at least as of last night).

Posted by: airish316 | July 27, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm in NW DC and have RCN cable and internet and it has been completely out since the storm. It hasn't come back intermittently, as several Comcast customers have stated here. The representative I talked to yesterday had no estimate as to when it would be restored, or even worked on.

Posted by: Sarah118 | July 27, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

We've lost COMCAST internet and cable TV since Sunday 11:00 pm, but not losing the power. I've called lots of times till today 1:30 pm but always got automatical recording for getting service back "SHORTLY". I'm going to get rid of COMCAST soon.

Posted by: jihfulai | July 27, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@airish316,
Yep, sounds familiar. At about 8:15 pm Sunday, several hours AFTER the storm hit, I lost all cable/internet. I could still use the DVR for a few hours, but have lost all access since about 11:30 Sunday. Service ever returned. Nothing from Comcast but automated response.

Posted by: EconGirl2 | July 27, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Sarah118:

Sorry to hear about your experience with RCN in NW.

FWIW, RCN here in Silver Spring/Chevy Chase has been fully operational at all times, including during the PEPCO power outage at our home (backup generator worked, so we know tv, phone and internet was working.)

No consolation to you, but whatever RCN's problem is at your location, the problem does not appear to be system wide for RCN.

Posted by: ubimea | July 27, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Pepco and Comcast are neck in neck this week for title of most unpopular company after BP.

After receiving no credible information from Comcast as to why service had been out all day, I went to Panera Bread (free WiFI) long enough to enjoy lunch and to place an order for FIOS, which will be installed next week. Sayonara Comcast.

Posted by: janekelley | July 27, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Pepco and Comcast are neck in neck this week for title of "most unpopular company after BP".

After receiving no credible information from Comcast as to why service had been out all day, I went to Panera Bread (free WiFI) long enough to enjoy lunch and to place an order for FIOS. My installation is scheduled for next week. Sayonara Comcast.

Posted by: janekelley | July 27, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Pepco is now telling customers that it could be as long as 11pm on Friday July 30th before power is restored (At least to Colesville Road/University Blvd area). It baffles me how - in 21st century America - it takes 5 days + to get power back to customers.

Its a fact of life these days that living in Montgomery County means an episode or two a year with multiple days without power.

It is also clear that the power infrastructure in the County - in a word - stinks. Telephone pole based lines frequently have tree growth near or over them. High winds = high likelihood of outages.

Given that we have no choice but to use Pepco, I am assuming that they choose to be busy with other things rather than 1) Figuring out how to best apply resources to update a 50+ year old power grid and 2) Develop a response plan that gets power back in line with what we would expect from an organization that we trust with arguably the most important resource we use every day.

This is not a new situation for Pepco. It is nothing short of shameful that they have had the communication issues that they have had (web sites that don't work, surly representatives, inaccurate timelines), combined with a subpar response. They would do well to be more communicative with the press - where are the pictures of crews working on lines? Where are happy stories of power returning? Where is the supposed interactive Website map that shows where crews are working, the potential time for work to be complete, the number of residents that will have their power back. We are living in the dark in many many ways with this company.

And its clear that Pepco's message to us is - sit down, shut up and take it. Because you have no choice but to work for us, and we'll attend to your problem in a way that cheapest for us. God forbid that they spend a few extra dollars to service their customers in a more responsive way.

As a positive, I can relate more to the vast majority of the world's population (in developing or base economies) that have to live with spotty electrical service.

Shame on Pepco.

Posted by: mikeintheusa | July 27, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I am both a resident of NJ and Bethesda MD. I have never experienced a power outage of more that 8-10 hours in NJ. One might ask how can this be? I will tell you. The power company in NJ in conjunction with the town I live in does routine maintenance of cutting back the branches of the trees away from the power lines.
Why must Montgomery county import expertise from Ohio to bring back the power grid for Bethesda. Something isseriously wrong with how PEPCO does business and it should be investigated and people held accountable for the so called handling of the latest outage.

Posted by: NJ-MDresident | July 27, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

It is little wonder Pepco doesn't invest in its infrastructure as a quick check of political contribution histories from both Rigby and Graham show that neither actually live in homes served by Pepco...Rigby lives in Cecil County and Graham lives in PG county outside of Pepco's service area. Who can blame them as they don't have to rely on the company they manage to deliver electricity to their homes.

Posted by: kenrowe1 | July 27, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

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