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Stores around the D.C. area are packed, as residents heed the warning from PEPCO to purchase supplies in anticipation of the possible power outages from Hurricane Irene.
At Strosniders hardware store in Bethesda, the biggest run was on flashlights, batteries, candles and generators after people received this phone call:
"This is an important message from PEPCO. With the approach of Hurricane Irene, PEPCO is preparing for potential widespread and lengthy power outages acros its service area this weekend."
Joe Rigby, President of PEPCO's parent company, says they started asking for outside crews to help with storm response on Tuesday, something the much-maligned utility didn't always do before previous storms.
"We have been asking for everything we can get. And what we have received is less than we have asked for," he says.
Rigby adds they will keep asking, especially since two other utilities under the PEPCO umbrella serve the Eastern Shore, Delaware and southern New Jersey.