Thursday, March 20, 2014

Power outages hit Columbia Heights yesterday: businesses, houses out for hours

Pepco is not making any friends in Columbia Heights. Last night around 6 pm there were tweets from Kangaroo Boxing Club, Meridian Pint and The Coupe saying power was out. Later other residents reported the same, and around 10:30 pm I was riding in a taxi up 13th around Park and noticed everything was pitch black.

ANC commissioner Patrick Flynn did some reaching out and got a response, of sorts, from Pepco, which said the outage was related a "fault" and they were hoping to fix it by 1 am. The email, posted below, also said other repairs and installations were needed, but it was unclear if that meant more power outages.

A lot of folks on Twitter are complaining about it as well -- folks have said there have been multiple outages in the past few months. One Twitter user, @webrownjr, posted the above photo of a crew working at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza at 14th and Park/Kenyon.

Let's hope this is coming to an end, but I have a feeling it's not. Here's Pepco's email:

Commissioner Flynn:Please be advised that Pepco's crews have located a fault and are preparing to make new splices to restore the circuit with an ETR of 1 am, presuming there are no further damage locations.  The fault was in a switch that we had planned to replace as part of the work we outlined to this community last week.
In addition to the work being performed tonight, we are currently replacing cable on 14th St. between Columbia Rd. and Monroe St., NW, over the next 3 - 4 weeks. We will also replace cable on Park Road between Holmeade and 14th St., NW. In order to complete the cable replacement, we need to install new conduit in 2 areas.  We are currently expanding a manhole and installing new conduit near Park Rd. and Holmeade Pl. NW. This work will take approximately eight weeks total to complete.

We will also install conduit in the following location:15 - 20' of 14th St. near Park Rd. and also 350 - 400' on Park Rd. east of 14th St., NW. Once the manhole and conduit work is complete, we will replace cable on Park Road between 14th St. and 11th St., NW. In addition, we will increase the capacity of two transformers and will replace one switch.

We have completed the installation of 500' of new primary cable along Park Road near 11th Street and have completed an AMI review of overload trends and have identified transformers to upgrade in 2 locations.  We are targeting the end of May to complete these activities at this time.

Once again, we regret the hardship these outages have caused, and remain committed to making the necessary repairs and upgrades as quickly as possible.

We will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

Thank you,


Marc K. Battle, Esq.
Vice President
Pepco Region, District of Columbia 

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