DELMARVA - Delmarva Power officials tells us it's all hands on deck.
The company has activated all its field personnel including utility crews from states as far away as Alabama and Louisiana to assist with restoring power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Delmarva Power has nearly 360 internal and contract line personnel and 200 tree removal personnel on the system and ready for quick mobilization. Delmarva Power's parent company, Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI), has requested a total of 3,700 outside crew members through the utility mutual assistance process. At this time, PHI has received commitments for a total of 1,473 crew members, some of whom arrived today. PHI is working to secure additional commitments. Delmarva Power has set up a staging area for personnel and materials at the Fisker Plant in Wilmington, Del., and the Perdue Shorebirds Stadium in Salisbury, Md. Crews will be deployed based upon greatest damage and need.
In addition, non-field employees have assumed special storm roles to support the restoration. These roles include damage assessors, crew guides and additional staff to answer customer calls.
Delmarva Power is warning that tens or even hundreds of thousands of customers could lose power during this storm. "Officials say crews will begin working as soon as winds subside and are asking customers to be patient. If the winds are exceedingly high at 40 miles per hour or more, by safety regulations we have to with hold any overhead or aerial work. So sometimes a lot of work has to be put on hold if the storm is raging, just for safety reasons. Then once the storm comes through, we go out and assess the damage, we see what needs to be repaired, what the problem spots are. So I'm reminding customers there could be outages of significant length," spokesperson Matt Likovich said.
Delmarva Power is also urging customers to put together a storm kit with essential needs.