Widespread outages are possible in our area with ice, snow and sleet in the forecast.
BETHESDA, Md. — That same weather system wreaking havoc in Texas is now making its way to the D.C. Metro region, and that’s a concern for some people in our area. WUSA9 spoke to Pepco and Dominion Energy about whether widespread outages are possible in our area.
Both power companies said we could see widespread outages, but not necessarily for the same reasons as Texas did. Texas is on its own grid and it’s not federally regulated, That’s not the case for power grids in our area.
“Just keep safety top of mind,” said Sean Matthews, the Senior Communications Specialist with Pepco. Matthews said reporting the issues you see is key to helping them keeping your lights on.
“If you see downed power lines or damaged electrical equipment, try to stay away from it first of all. If you do see something that looks concerning, just give us a call at 877-PEPCO-62,” he said.
The messages are similar from every provider.
“Ice can weigh down branches and power lines and they can bring down lines. And if a branch or tree falls on a power line, it can also bring down a utility pole, and that can take quite a while to repair.” Peggy Fox with Dominion Energy said.
During our last ice storm, some 290,000 Dominion customers were without power. It was a multi-day restoration process. But there are some places that need to keep the power on, and Fox said they prioritize certain locations.
“If there are large outages, we do prioritize and get those critical infrastructures back up. And, we also have addresses that we know the locations of vaccine distribution locations so we will put those at the top of the list when we’re looking into where to send the crews to get outages restored.” Fox added.
Fox also suggested checking your generators on Wednesday if you have one.
“A lot of people have generators and that’s great if you have a generator, make sure that it is in proper working condition, never run it indoors always run it outdoors with proper ventilation.”
Another reminder from both companies is to stay away from downed power lines. If you see a power line down, assume it’s energized and dangerous.
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