Friday, April 11, 2014

Pepco meets with the community about power outages; more outages coming April 14 and 21

Recently I wrote about the constant power outages in the area, which are annoying for residents and a big problem for businesses -- Kangaroo Boxing Club reports lots of lost revenue plus spoiled food. Then earlier in the week, Pepco met with community members, the ANC, Jim Graham and parts of the city government, thanks to constant pressure from ANC commissioners. The blog Park View DC has a full recap.

In short, Pepco apologized and tried to explain the outages. They provided a fact sheet on the outages that says basically Pepco is working to improve some of the infrastructure like cables, transformers and other components, and there need to be some outages for the workers to be able to improve them. However, Pepco is clearly not telling people ahead of time (or they're also having unexpected outages.) Pepco also doesn't seem to have a good idea of the age of the infrastructure or demand, but are working to get more info on both.

They said there will be three more planned outages, one on April 14, one on April 21, and one sometime in May (to be decided.) Yuk.

However, they are going to send out a mailer about the problem, which is good. They also included the map at right of recent "upgrades" i.e. where the outages have been because they are working on them.

Some neighbors complained about outages since 2003, to which Pepco said they understand the frustration. Commissioner Patrick Flynn, one of the main drivers of the conversation, pointed out that Pepco needs to do a better job communicating with the community, and residents agreed. Other residents suggested that Pepco should let everybody know what businesses are unaffected so people can seek shelter or charge their phones. Some of these outages occurred when the temperature was very low, making it a potentially dangerous situation for residents.

Kent Boese, ANC chair and the writer of the Park View DC blog, also said that Pepco will come to a future ANC meeting to discuss these issues. That's good to hear.

So, it sounds like they're working on it, but there are still some problems.

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