Mayor Gray: “People Are Sick of ” Power Outages

Gray calls for changes in utility management in wake of storm

Pepco "needs to be better," said Mayor Vincent Gray in a press conference today.

In the news conference, Gray said that Pepco's estimated power restoration date of Friday -- when the utility company hopes to have 90 percent of customers restored -- just isn't "good enough." He floated the idea of burying power lines underground, since storm-damaged trees wreak havoc when they hit the power lines. "I think people are fed up with power outages," Gray said. "We need a game changer."

Gray praised the Department of Public Works, noting that "many of their chainsaws have worn out," from being used to clear away trees.

Schools will be closed tomorrow due to power issues, and the Department of Public Works will be collecting spoiled food at several schools today and tomorrow between 3 and 7 p.m. Those locations include Ferebee-Hope Elementary, LaSalle Elementary, McKinley Tech, Wilson High School, and Garfield Elementary.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that moving to 12-hour shifts has made it possible for the police force to meet the needs of the city and prepare for July 4 celebrations. Still, "officers are working in tough conditions," she said.

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