Following the violent storm that centered itself primarily over Philadelphia’s Chester and Delaware Counties, PECO has mobilized its entire emergency response organization to focus on restoring service to customers as safely and quickly as possible. Strong winds and severe lightening toppled trees, which then downed transmission lines and damaged electric equipment on a scale not seen in the area since 2006.
Facing extensive damage and power outages for 215,000 PECO customers, the company was quick to collaborate with local contractors and neighboring utilities, adding an additional 500 personnel to their ranks as of 5 a.m. this morning.
Due to the extent of damage, PECO estimates it could take several days until service is restored to all customers -- even with crews and back office support personnel working 12 to16 hour shifts, around the clock. PECO works to restore any affected power substations, and transmission lines first, followed by critical care customers, such as police and fire stations, hospitals and nursing homes, and public water and sewer facilities. Then, restoration efforts are prioritized with attention being given to circuits based on the number of affected customers, then more localized areas, followed by individual customer outages.
PECO has directed customers without power to contact the company. The automated telephone system has been equipped to communicate with the company's new outage reporting method called 21st Century. This reporting system utilizes PECO's advanced communications smart grid to get details about specific outages faster. That means customers can hear the status of outages specific to their area at the time of their call, as well as opt in to a service that will message their cell phones when services are back on. More importantly, PECO's 21st Century technology leaves Customer Care representatives accessible to handle reports of dangerous situations instead of fielding calls to report individual outages and receive service updates.
With safety as the priority customers have been advised to keep away from downed wires, damaged electric equipment and report dangerous conditions to PECO immediately as personnel continue their extensive efforts to restore power.
PECO tackles power loss to more than 200,000 customers