Steven Chu, Energy Secy., praises Pepco for work in restoring power lost during Sandy

8:14 PM, Nov 1, 2012   |    comments
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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) -- While other utility companies are getting the last customers restored, Pepco is one of the first to complete all of its restoration work from Superstorm Sandy.
Pepco has been highly criticized for its reliability.

Thursday morning, at a closed event, 9news' Surae Chinn was the only media invited as Energy Secretary Steven Chu thanked Pepco's linemen at its Rockville facility.

For the first time in recent history, Pepco is being praised not criticized.

Regional President Thomas Graham with Secretary Chu walked around the facility shaking hands with the linemen.

Thomas Graham said, "We are finished. They were working 16 hour shifts."

Energy Sec. Steven Chu, who's also a Pepco customer, is giving the unsung heroes credit for a job well done.

Pepco Lineman Don Galla has been restoring power to customers for nearly 30 years.

Galla said, "It's like anything else, if you show me a little respect I'll go a mile for you."

At the height of Superstorm Sandy, 44,000 customers were impacted. That's about a quarter of Dominion power and BGE outages.

Pepco Regional President Thomas Graham says it was a little bit of luck and a lot of preparation.

"it's a change. It's a welcome change. It feels good but in reality, a lot of customers in other parts of the country are suffering out there," he said

Even one of the biggest critics of Pepco, Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner, admits Pepco did well. With a combination of being spared the brunt of the storm and good prep work, Berliner says that  Pepco responded well to Sandy and helped rebuild good will with its customers.

In Virginia, a Dominion Power spokesperson reported that as of 9 p.m. Thursday, all customers who had lost power as a result of superstorm Sandy have been restored.

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