In February 2010, two record-breaking, back-to-back snowstorms pounded the Mid-Atlantic region. Officially, the Washington, D.C., area measured a total of 29 inches of snow accumulation, but some locations saw as much as 40 inches or more between the two snowstorms that had the federal government closed for almost an entire week. Obviously, the storms wreaked some havoc on local electric utilities.
Pepco’s crews worked around the clock to reconnect those who lost service. With below-freezing temperatures, it was vital that the company moved quickly. However, strong winds, lingering severe weather and dangerous travel routes hampered restoration efforts. After both storms, Pepco had restored power to more than 400,000 customers in less than a week’s time.
Another local utility, Dominion Virginia Power, experienced similar difficulties. The first storm affected 287,000 customers in the Dominion service area, and 98 percent of those customers saw power restored before the second blizzard hit. However, the second storm had wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour, knocking out the power to a significant number of customers. Dominion Virginia Power reported just days later, however, that it was finishing up restoration of the outages from the storm.
The linemen for these utilities are to be commended for their hard work and efforts. They worked through blizzard conditions to restore power to those affected by the severe weather, and as one historic storm finished, they had to prepare for a second. All around, it was a job well done.