Heat Wave Takes Toll on D.C. Region

Pepco President Tours Devastated Neighborhood

Restoration efforts continue

By Chris Gordon
|  Friday, Jul 6, 2012  |  Updated 7:01 AM EDT
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Residents in the Kemp Mill and Silver Spring areas of Montgomery County say Pepco is ignoring their power troubles.

Chris Gordon

Residents in the Kemp Mill and Silver Spring areas of Montgomery County say Pepco is ignoring their power troubles.

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Pepco President Thomas Graham analyzed the storm destruction in a Chevy Chase neighborhood where Thursday evening residents complained to News4 that the utility was unaware of their problems.

“I'm getting robocalls that the power's back on,” Chevy Chase resident Eric Carle said. “You leave the hotel, you come back and you go back and you find out there's no power on at your house. You go back to their fantastic web app to hit that there's no power on, and you just let them know. And they keep making the robocalls. They keep saying there's no crew assigned here. You just wonder how anything’s getting done.”

“Obviously in this neighborhood they’ve been devastated,” Graham said. “Our infrastructure’s been devastated. We’re just trying to get out as quickly as we can. As bad as this is, there are hundreds of sites throughout our territory that look just like this. We had about 2,000 or so wire down reports. We still have about 1,400 of those to address.”

Pepco has said that the robocalls tell residents that power has been restored in their area, but if that doesn’t include their home, they should contact Pepco again to report the outage, which could have been caused somewhere else along the line.

In a dark hot home on Irvington Avenue in Bethesda, Nathan Blain and his wife and kids are sleeping downstairs trying to get through hot nights with little hope of relief.

“Our frustration has been that we just haven’t been getting good information from Pepco, and they told us that the power had been restored, and turns out it hadn’t been restored,” Blain said.

In the Wildwood Manor Estates, three repair crews worked together on a snapped power pole that put most of the people there in the dark.

On Nevis Road in Bethesda, Florida crews worked to restore power knocked out by a large tree that toppled, bringing down lines.

“They’ve been very forthcoming, and we’re so glad they’re here,” Bethesda resident Lisa Sorkin said.In an email late Thursday, Pepco said that the predicted heat, damage from last week's storm and high demand for electricity are stressing the electrical system's capabilities, the Associated Press reported. They asked customers to conserve energy.

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