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Task Force Formed To Explore Burying D.C. Power Lines

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Burying power lines would significantly reduce the risk of outages, but at a high upfront cost.
Armando Trull
Burying power lines would significantly reduce the risk of outages, but at a high upfront cost.

After this summer's powerful thunderstorm, known as a derecho, left hundreds of area residents without electricity for days, D.C. Mayor Gray is forming a task force to look at burying the city's power lines underground.

The costs are enormous. Moving the power lines underground would likely cost several billion dollars, take decades to complete, and at times, disrupt the day-to-day life for residents all over the District. Nonetheless, pressure is mounting for city politicians to tackle D.C.'s frequent power outages.

The mayor, in a statement today, says its time for a game-changer . The task force will be led by City Administrator Allen Lew and Pepco President Joseph Rigby. It will also include two residents from Ward 7 and Ward 3 — two areas of D.C. that routinely suffer the worst outages.

The first meeting will be held next Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Wilson Building. It will be open to the public.


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