Thousands of Pepco Customers Lose Power

Chain reaction of knocked-out transformers caused by tree

Friday, Feb 8, 2013  |  Updated 8:04 PM EDT
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Power has since been restored to nearly 50,000 people. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins explains how it affected residents and businesses.

Tracee Wilkins

Power has since been restored to nearly 50,000 people. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins explains how it affected residents and businesses.

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More than 50,000 Pepco customers lost power temporarily Friday afternoon in central Prince George's County and parts of the District.

A large tree caused the outage when it fell on a transmission line in a deeply wooded area of Camp Springs, Pepco said. That knocked out power to four substations, News4 Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reported.

The outage also caused the evacuation of the Addison Plaza Shopping Center and some nearby homees in Capitol Heights after Safeway's generator turned on and somehow caused an underground transformer to begin shaking.

The power went out at 30 schools in Prince George's County, and school officials decided to keep students in school until Pepco restored power, Wilkins reported.

The outages Friday afternoon also included parts of Joint Base Andrews. Capt. Lindy Singleton at Andrews said she's unaware of any critical operations affected by the incident.

Pepco said around 12:15 p.m. that it had 30,000 without power, but it hoped to restore it within an hour. At approximately 1:35 p.m., Pepco's outage map was showing 50,000 without power.

By 4 p.m., power to all but a handful of customers had been restored.

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