Utilities, local officials prep for super storm - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Utilities, local officials prep for super storm

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WASHINGTON -

Utility workers and government officials in the nation's capital are preparing for a possible "super storm" that could bring flooding and power outages.

The storm is expected to hit the East Coast starting Sunday with heavy rain and gale-force winds.

Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel says the power company is in touch with other utilities about the possibility of bringing in out-of-state crews to restore power. The utility that serves Washington is also making sure that 400 local contractors will be available for line work.

Christopher Geldart, director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, says workers are cleaning out basins that collect stormwater, especially in neighborhoods that are prone to flooding. They're also preparing generators to operate pumps on low-lying roads in the event of power outages.

Maryland utility companies and emergency management officials say they're preparing for large-scale power outages, flooding and other damage as well.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said Thursday it's planning for hundreds of thousands of potential outages. The company says it's putting 1,300 workers on standby and making plans to bring in at least 500 from other states.

In western Maryland, Potomac Edison is denying new vacation requests until any storm repairs have been made. The company is looking at the possibility that Tropical Storm Sandy could be followed by wintry weather in mountains.

The utilities and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency say lessons learned from past storms, including one in late June, that could help reduce damage and recovery time.


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