Hurricane Sandy Pounds Philadelphia Region; Interrupts Service to More Than 166,000 PECO Customers
With rainfall totals mounting and wind gusts of up to 70 mph, PECO has battled throughout the day to restore power to tens of thousands of customers who lost power from Hurricane Sandy. And, the storm will remain in the area through tomorrow causing additional damage. When Hurricane Sandy finally clears the region, it could lead to historic flooding and severe damage to electric lines and equipment.
PECO has mobilized more than 3,000 employees, contractors and out-of-state crews to respond to the devastating effects of this storm. This massive effort includes more than 1,500 field personnel from utilities as far away as Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as field personnel from PECO's Chicago-based sister utility ComEd.
As of 9 p.m., 166,000 customers remain without service. Specifically:
- Buck County = 82,000
- Chester County = 7,000
- Delaware County = 24,000
- Montgomery County = 38,000
- Philadelphia County = 15,000
Working in torrential rains and gusty winds, crews will work throughout the night to restore service as safely and as quickly as possible. Due to the severity of this storm, PECO cannot provide estimated restoration times until we are able to more fully assess damage to our system.
Customers who experience an outage or issue with their natural gas service should call the company immediately at 1-800-841-4141. The more customers who call to report an outage, the more effectively PECO can dispatch crews and restore service.
PECO reminds customers to stay safe during the storm. With saturated ground and high winds, customers may encounter tree damage and downed power lines as the storm intensifies. Customers should always assume that downed lines and equipment are energized and extremely dangerous. Customers also should never enter basements that are flooded until power is de-energized. Stay away from any flood-covered electric equipment in neighborhoods, even if electricity has been terminated in the area.
PECO's Emergency Response Organization has been activated since Thursday morning, Oct. 25.
If an outage occurs:
- Customers without power should contact the company at 1-800-841-4141. The more customers who call to report an outage, the more effectively PECO can dispatch crews and restore service.
- Stay away from downed wires, damaged electric equipment and tree limbs or branches contacting electrical equipment. Always assume PECO's equipment is energized – even if there is an outage in your neighborhood. Report these dangerous conditions to PECO immediately.
- Turn off and unplug appliances and other devices to prevent possible damage. Remember to keep one light on so you will know when service has been restored.
- Customers with generators should never connect them directly to home wiring or plug them into household outlets. Generators connected to home wiring can ‘backfeed” into PECO's electric delivery system, risking serious injury or death to PECO crews. Generators should always be placed outside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 494,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 82.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 38.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2011. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations.
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Fred Maher, 215-841-5555