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After Irene, Mixed Reviews For Pepco

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Leaders in Montgomery County offer mixed reviews for Pepco's Hurricane Irene response, which struck the region in late August.
Elliott Francis
Leaders in Montgomery County offer mixed reviews for Pepco's Hurricane Irene response, which struck the region in late August.

In Maryland, leaders in Montgomery County still can't agree on whether Pepco did a good job in response to Hurricane Irene last month.

Chris Voss, the director of the county's office of emergency management and homeland security, said Pepco was in constant communication with them, unlike past storms.They even had crews set up at firehouses to allow them to get to outage stricken areas more quickly.

"In the last few months, I think that we've seen a change in the attitude from Pepco," says Voss.

Some of Pepco's harshest critics are on the Montgomery County council, and they are still upset with the utility. Councilman Marc Elrich says the experience that he and his neighbors in Takoma Park saw with Pepco's website was unacceptable.

"As late of 24 hours or later after the event, when you put in the information, we got 'cause not identified, crew not dispatched,'" he says. "You could do this over and over and over again: cause not identified. I could have identified the cause. There were a couple of trees down on a couple of major roads. I got that."

Elrich also complained that the taped message Pepco customers received before the storm, warning of outages that could last for days, was too "negative" and triggered unnecessary panic in some who heard it.

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