Friday, March 02, 2018

Pepco fails in first major test of "improved" infrastructure (Photos)

Bethesda businesses
lose tens of thousands
of dollars

We've all seen the clearcutting and butchering of trees by Pepco around Montgomery County in the past six years, a move the monopoly electricity utility described as essential to improving its unreliable power delivery system. The problem was not Pepco's own infrastructure, they assured us, but those darn trees. For years, our area has avoided major storms other than the infamous derecho, and Pepco has skated by with the illusion it had hardened its weak power grid. But the winds began to blow around 12:30 AM this morning, and Pepco faced its first real test - and failed.

Desptie 72 hours notice of an extreme wind event, Pepco did not call in out-of-state crews in sufficient numbers to respond to this "storm." In fact, few Pepco trucks have even been spotted in the Bethesda area today by residents and business owners left in the dark, most without even an estimate of a restoration time from the monopoly utility.

Tens of thousands of people and businesses are without power at this hour across Montgomery County. Virtually none of the outages have Pepco crews dispatched, much less an estimated time of restoration. Again, it's unclear just how many Pepco crews are even operating in Montgomery County tonight - nobody's seen them, and not a single crew is identified as working on any of the 80-or-so individual outages in the County.

Bethesda businesses - including Kapnos Kouzina, Sala Thai, Taylor Gourmet, Equinox, McDonald's, and all of the Shoppes of Bethesda, to name just a few - have lost tens of thousands of dollars in Friday and Friday night business. That's devastating when you consider the rents these businesses have to pay. Homes are dark countywide.

Epic fail from Pepco. Will they be held accountable, and when will the power come back on? Pepco's not saying, going to radio silence and saying they've stopped issuing restoration timetables.
One block of Woodmont Avenue at
Bethesda Row had power. The other...
not so much

Dark stretch of Woodmont in the
Woodmont Triangle - and not a
single Pepco truck in sight

Sala Thai was dark

Power's out

A little bit of wind, and
all hell breaks loose

The Lauren is the only building with
power on this block of Hampden Lane

Shoppes of Bethesda





47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Recommend you check in with Facebook groups for the areas you’re relying on for your vote. Residents in these areas are singing the county’s praise (seriously, check them out) along with praising the efforts of the power company. Toning it down a bit might help should you lose by 50,000 votes again. If that happens, less egg on your face. And I don’t mean the egg from your tacos that you review.

Anonymous said...

A little bit of wind, and
all hell breaks loose


More proof that Robert Dyer is a blithering idiot.

Anonymous said...

Have you looked at the outage map? What is it about the county machine trolls that they always extoll the most unpopular things - Pepco, liquor monopoly, Barwood Cab. I doubt Dyer will look to such fools for winning advice!

"We want a Councilman who will keep our electricity off like a third-world country!" LOL

Anonymous said...

"Praising the efforts of the power company."

WTF planet/drugs you on bro?

Anonymous said...

Large swaths of the county have no power and anonymous is claiming we should praise Pepco? Wow.

No Pepco trucks seen to this point.

Anonymous said...

The power situation in Northern Virginia is much worse.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/local/power-outage-status/

You're an idiot, Dyer. And you're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Don’t forget to vote Reimer for at-large. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

OK, Dyer...your 14 photos show TWO blocks out of hundreds (if not thousands) of blocks in Bethesda that are without power:

1) Between Hampden Lane, Elm Street, Woodmont Avenue and Arlington Road, and

2) Woodmont Avenue between Cordell and St. Elmo Avenues.

Hyperbole much?

Anonymous said...

I bet the anonymous man who praised Pepco's terrible storm response also thinks Barwood cab, WMATA and the planning board are swell too.

Anonymous said...

Not-so-anonymous #UnsignedDyer @ 10:17 PM.

Robert Dyer said...

9:20: What in the living hell are you talking about? I've seen no such praise for Pepco anywhere. Let me guess, you also enjoy waiting to renew your license at the MVA?

Robert Dyer said...

9:54: Fortunately, there's a screenshot of the actual outage map for Montgomery above, proving YOU are the idiot, moron.

Robert Dyer said...

10:08: If you like third world-level infrastructure and boarded up businesses, you should definitely vote for Helpless Hans Riemer.

Robert Dyer said...

10:09: The outage map is riddled with outage icons - you sound like a complete idiot.

Anonymous said...

With the last derecho, we were out of power for 7 days. After that, we got a generator. Now I'm almost disappointed in the cost for our generator -- our generator has run less than 30 minutes the last 3 years because power has been so reliable lately. Pepco did some pretty aggressive tree trimming but I think it paid off.

Anonymous said...

Pepco is inept and a complete failure at serving county residents, just like our horrid County Council. Pepco's response to a little bit of wind and breeze is absolutely pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Goodness, Robert, take a break. You are so far off-base here. 70 mph gusts and 40mph sustained winds for 24 hours is the equivalent of a tropical storm parked over the area. As a professional in this field, I can assure you that the reliability during this storm has been above all reasonable expectations.

I value your blog as a source for hyper-local bethesda news. But how about you stick to what you do well... local meetings, planning and permitting processes, and community actions?

Anna said...

I was impressed by the efforts and fixes that were made. I never lost power, only a few blinks.
What a HUGE improvement for my neighborhood. Out for a week after 2003 Isabelle, out a week after the 2012 derecho, and always an hour or two (or three or ten) during thunderstorms, or windy days...

This was a storm with incredibly strong winds. Or as the Capital Weather Gangs says "powerful Nor’easter exploding off the coast of the Northeast is causing one of the worst wind storms in the region in years. Widespread wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph have downed scores of trees around the Washington region, and power outage numbers have surged into the six figures."

Infinitely more than the idiot at 6:04AM calls "a little bit of wind and breeze "

Too much blatant campaigning going on here.

Anonymous said...

This article fell from the Retard Tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Anonymous said...

7:47: I've experienced wind gusts far higher and more sustained in seconds of length than this. The system was not only dysfunctional, but restoration time relative to conditions and damage was too long.

BTW, why does Bob's troll always claim professional expertise in every field being discussed, from self checkout machines to taxes to power monopolies?

Anonymous said...

My experience is similar to Anna's.

-Isabel, 2003 - Lost power for one week less six hours.

-Strong thunderstorm, 2009 - Lost power for two days.

-Derecho, 2012 - Lost power for two days.

-Several multi-hour blackouts for relatively minor storms between 2003 and 2012.

Since the Derecho, I have experienced NO weather-related power failures - that's almost six years. And I had noticed fewer blackouts even in the months before the Derecho.

Pepco's delayed pruning, while very unpopular at the time, made a huge difference; also many previously uninsulated power lines have been replaced with insulated lines, and higher telephone poles installed, to raise the lines above the tree-line.

Dyer has no objectivity whatsoever. He is so full of shit. That is why no one will ever hire him as a journalist and he's stuck with his free blog.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, Bobby, give it a rest - I love waiting for hours at the MVA, getting charged extra by Comcast for channels that are basic tier on other services, Barwood not picking me up as scheduled, and paying over $10,000 in property taxes to our fabulously criminal County Council. Murders are up, and life HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER!"

- And I am not typing this from the office of a Councilman or developer PR firm! I SWEAR.

Anonymous said...

"I've experienced wind gusts far higher and more sustained in seconds of length than this. "

TOTAL COMPLETE FUCKING BULLSHIT.

Sign your name, Dyer, you fucking coward.

Anonymous said...

9:56 #1: This was the first real test of the new system since the derecho, moron. Pepco doesn't get credit for delivering power in normal conditions.

Bob has accomplished more than you - you're stuck picking up Hans Riemer's coffee and dry cleaning - what a life!

Anonymous said...

Funny how 10:01 uses the exact same talking points and phrases as Dyer.

Anonymous said...

"Bob, I like WSSC and Pepco jacking up rates for worse service and more outages. Let's not criticize when we've got it SO GOOD, Why can't you be more like Hans Riemer and just keep quiet about utility performance, while voting to jack up their rates on working families like a good Bolshevik?"

Anonymous said...

9:49 AM lol...is the expert of self checkout machines still among us? That was cool.

Anonymous said...

I moved to the Maplewood/Alta Vista neighborhood of Bethesda seven years ago. Power outages due to storms were frequent for my first five years. The last two years have been relatively problem free, with yesterday a good example: power blinked off/on twice, with the longest interval about three seconds; Verizon Fios was out four times, not for very long, although resetting the router and set-top box could take five minutes.

TL;DR: I think PEPCO did a helluva job, Bobbie!

Anonymous said...

"I've experienced wind gusts far higher and more sustained in seconds of length than this."

Says the same guy who claims that the summers of 2016 and 2017, two of the hottest summers on record in Washington DC, were "the coolest summers of his lifetime".

Robert Dyer said...

10:50: I'm certainly glad you did not lose power, but we have to be careful not to confuse the fact that some streets had power with a great job by Pepco. The folks and business owners still in the dark this morning and tonight have a different opinion of Pepco's response.

Anonymous said...

"The folks and business owners still in the dark this morning and tonight have a different opinion of Pepco's response."

Did you actually talk to any?

How do Virginians feel about Dominion Power's response?

Anonymous said...

Also, could you explain how Comcast is relevant to this discussion? If you don't like Comcast, you can always switch to RCN or Verizon.

Anonymous said...

"the monopoly electricity utility described as essential to improving its unreliable power delivery system."

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that PEPCO's response to outages from the storm has been worse than other nearby power companies, how would you remedy this? Transmission of electricity, as opposed to generation and sale to the end user, is a natural monopoly.

Anonymous said...

Set aside the usual sniping cross-fire for a moment. The backstory, now several years old, is that Pepco gave their CEO a whopping bonus the day before the Post reported (drawing on materials disclosed in private litigation) that review of actual truck roll logs over several years showed that, at least at the time, Pepco's outages were NOT due to trees, but primarily to sustained neglect of the infrastructure to boost profits and get the CEO his bonus. The outrage about tree pruning arose as much from the knowledge that it was a PR scam as from the heavy hand of the chain saw crews. Whatever one's view of the company's response to outages, any credible criticism or praise has to be grounded in a factual update of their equipment maintenance and replacement practices. But given the desultory performance of the state regulators, whose oversight did not disclose the actual cause of outages over the years, you have to wonder if that update awaits another private lawsuit.

I remember Giffords said...

7:20 PM You're saying small businesses forced to close several days with no power are happy with Pepco? I wasn't aware Pepco compensated lost business.

Anonymous said...

7:47 here. Not “bob’s troll,” but an actual expert. You know, someone who has degrees in a field, professional experience in same field, and decades of experience. But go ahead, believe what you want.

Anonymous said...

"Pepco's outages were NOT due to trees"

You're an idiot if you think no outages were caused by trees.

Anonymous said...

"You're saying small businesses forced to close several days with no power are happy with Pepco?"

What do you think is a reasonable response time for a storm of this magnitude? It hasn't been "several days" - it has been 1 to 1 1/2 days, so far.

Anonymous said...

Your post is 100% factually inaccurate. The power held despite the fact that we had hours and hours of wind in excess of 70 miles an hour and tons of trees down. Many, many parts of the area lost power for 0 minutes. Once again, your facts are fake news.

Woodmont said...

6:39 AM Your comment is 100% inaccurate. Just because you didn't lose power doesn't mean much.

Dyer has reporting that large swaths of downtown Bethesda had no power through Saturday.

Robert Dyer said...

6:39: There's an outage map at the top of this page that proves you are fake news. The power did not hold for over 200,000 customers. There were still more than 100 outages, representing thousands of people, countywide over 24 hours later.

Some streets in "Westbard" had power, others didn't. How is that a success?

8:50: The County and state should sue Pepco for lost revenue due to gross negligence by Pepco, and for defrauding Pepco stockholders out of Exelon stock when they were acquired in the merger.

Anonymous said...

Woodmont,
Excelon has spent a huge amount of money to beef up their technology and thanks to their acquisition we faired much better than when PEPCO was on their own. That's a fact. With 70 mile per hour winds, I doubt any utility would have done better.

Anonymous said...

"Excelon has spent a huge amount of money to beef up their technology and thanks to their acquisition we faired much better than when PEPCO was on their own."

Not meaning to be negative about Excelon, but the majority of PEPCO's upgrades were between in the years right before Excelon acquired it in 2014.

Anonymous said...

So Dyer is saying if that there were any outages anywhere, following a once in-a-decade storm, PEPCO's upgrades were for nothing and they are a miserable failure.

Imagine if Dyer applied the same standard to himself that he applies to others.

Robert Dyer said...

1:55: Wrong. There were hundreds of thousands of customers without power. That's more than just saying there's an outage somewhere. Frankly, in my area, the random outages on sunny days with blue skies have continued just as before. Really enjoy setting the clocks again. We were promised reliability, foremost. But also, reduced time in restoration. Neither was delivered in this storm.

Places like Hampden Lane are still out tonight!48 hours later!

Anonymous said...

http://outagemap.dominionenergy.com.s3.amazonaws.com/external/default.html

Anonymous said...

"Really enjoy setting the clocks again."

Still in the wrong timezone, Birdbrain!