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Md. Gov. Tours Irene Damage, Commends Response

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Md. Gov. Martin O'Malley toured southern Maryland Tuesday and praised Pepco for their efforts to restore power.
Elliot Francis
Md. Gov. Martin O'Malley toured southern Maryland Tuesday and praised Pepco for their efforts to restore power.

In Maryland, the state's top two leaders spent the day inspecting damage from Hurricane Irene and checking on efforts to restore power to those who still don't have it.

Governor Martin O'Malley spent the day in southern Maryland, where the damage was the worst and where larger numbers of power outages still remain.

His number two, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, checked in on Pepco. The utility says it will have all customers back online no later than Thursday night at 7 p.m. At Pepco's control center in Bethesda, Brown said the utility has done well following the storm despite its less than stellar reputation.

"It's all about learning lessons from the past," Brown stressed. "The fact that our utilities brought in two to three times the number of crews before this weather incident than they did before the storm of 2010 -- that's learning from the past and preparing for the future. So we commend them for that."

Pepco president Thomas Graham says they began planning for Irene a little earlier than normal -- five days before the storm hit the area.

"We started on Monday," says Graham. "On Tuesday, the first mutual assistance call came in. There were some resources from Ohio heading down to Florida, but the storm missed them, So we were able to secure 150 resources right away."

PEPCO also received help from utility companies in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Graham says they also doubled the number of customer service representatives and phone lines for this storm.

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