Maryland PSC Looks To Dominion As Storm Response Model | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland PSC Looks To Dominion As Storm Response Model

Play associated audio
Downed limbs were one of the major causes of outages in the D.C. area from June's derecho.
Seth Liss
Downed limbs were one of the major causes of outages in the D.C. area from June's derecho.

The Maryland Public Service Commision conducted a legislative-style hearing on the widespread outages caused by the "Derecho" storm of June 29, seeking answers as to why it took so long for utilities to restore power.

The hearing started out with testimony from a public service commission engineer, making staffing recommendations for the utilities. He suggested they employ more botanists and foresters, as more than 70 percent of outages during the Derecho were caused by trees falling down on lines.

The commission has also expressed a tremendous interest in how staffing skilled workers could affect restoration efforts in the future.

"One thing that struck me, in your analysis, is that even though Pepco had more outages than BG&E, by 30,000 to 40,000, it looked like they had secured less personnel," said Dave Nazarian, the commission chair.

The commission also cited Dominion Power as an example. They had access to more than 3,000 internal employees in the immediate aftermath of the storm. That is almost double the staff that was available to Maryland utilities.

"It was a challenge to get the resources from out-of-state utilities and non-company workers," said BG&E spokesman Robert Gould. He says that the mutual assistance program they usually use to get extra crews was hampered by widespread damage across multiple states.

The Commission responded by recommending that Maryland's utilities hire more skilled full-time staff.

The June 29 storm caused more than 3 million outages in the Mid-Atlantic region alone, and impacted 10 states and the District. Some were left without power for more than a week.

NPR

Book Review: 'Angels Make Their Hope Here'

Alan Cheuse reviews Angels Make Their Hope Here, by Breena Clarke.
NPR

Fruit Recall Hits Trader Joe's, Costco, Wal-Mart Stores

The recall applies to "certain lots of whole peaches (white and yellow), nectarines (white and yellow), plums and pluots" from a California packing company, the FDA says.
NPR

Rubio Interview Sparks Heated Comments On Immigration, Economy

Steve Inskeep talks to Amy Walter of Cook Political Report about the social media response to his two-part interview with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
NPR

Taking Stock Of 2 Tech Giants: What's Next For Apple And Microsoft

Microsoft's new CEO is getting a lot of love from Wall Street, but the company is struggling to stay relevant. And Apple has found its footing again, mostly through a massive stock buyback program.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.