Utilities, Local Governments Brace for Sandy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    A Pepco worker checks lines in Bethesda, Md.

    D.C. area utility companies and emergency management officials said they're preparing for large-scale power outages, flooding and other damage from a “super storm” that could arrive as early as Sunday.

    Sandy is expected to hit the East Coast starting Sunday with heavy rain and gale-force winds.

    Pepco is in touch with other utilities about the possibility of bringing in out-of-state crews to restore power, spokeswoman Myra Oppel said. The utility that serves Washington is also making sure that 400 local contractors will be available for line work.

    Christopher Geldart, director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said workers are cleaning out basins that collect storm water, especially in neighborhoods that are prone to flooding. They're also preparing generators to operate pumps on low-lying roads in the event of power outages.

    Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is putting workers on standby and making plans to bring in crews from other states. In western Maryland, Potomac Edison is denying new vacation requests until storm repairs are made.

    The utilities and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency say lessons learned from past storms, including the derecho in late June, could help reduce damage and recovery time.