Fourteen hundred Pepco customers in Montgomery County remained without power Monday afternoon as the area attempted to recover from a storm Saturday that felled trees, destroyed buildings, disrupted power and closed roads. Two days later, the cleanup continued.
“We haven’t seen storm impacts like this in more than five years,” said Ben Armstrong, Pepco’s director of communications.
Armstrong said that around 54,000 customers lost power in Montgomery County over the weekend, and 1,400 customers were still experiencing outages, as of 3 p.m. Monday.
Armstrong added that crews had to “completely rebuild sections of the electrical grid,” which is why the process to restore everyone’s power is so time-consuming and “labor intensive.” This is not common and only necessary when storms cause severe damage, he said.
Crews from 10 states came in to assist with the damage caused by the 84 mph winds, according to Armstrong.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) ran 506 calls Saturday, MCFRS Assistant Chief James Carpenter said.
One of the buildings with severe damage: The Original Pancake House at 12224 Rockville Pike in Rockville. It suffered external damage from wind, though there was no internal structural damage.
Part of the roof and wall were ripped off the building; debris was still present as of Monday.
“No injuries and no pancakes,” MCFRS spokesperson Pete Piringer tweeted Saturday. However, after MCFRS cleared the site, indoor operations continued and the location opened back up Sunday morning.
Ten Silver Spring residents were displaced after a tree fell on two houses on Charles Road, and another house on Plyers Mill Road in Kensington was split in half by a tree, Carpenter said.
Overall, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation removed more than 160 fallen trees, County Council President Evan Glass tweeted.
Armstrong said that Pepco appreciates customers’ patience and that everyone’s power should be restored by 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Earl Stoddard, assistant chief administrative officer for Montgomery County, tweeted updates on Monday morning on the damage repair efforts.
“Right now, the primary focus remains power restoration and road clearance. That requires coordination between the County and power utilities given the intersection between vegetation and power lines,” Stoddard tweeted.
Stoddard also tweeted that the power restoration process is time-consuming due to the severity of the damage.
“Lines need to be de-energized (utility), vegetation cleared (county), then lines re-hung (utility). Given the amount of damage, this is taking a long time. Generally, restoration is prioritized in two ways: (1) critical facilities & (2) most customers benefited (2/x).”
Pepco urges anyone who sees a down wire to report it by calling 1-877-PEPCO62.