Delmarva Power has restored service for the more than 129,000 customers affected by the impact of Tropical Storm Isaias as of late afternoon on Friday.
In a reminder that restoring power continues throughout the summer, storms with wind and lightning left 11,200 without power in northern New Castle County as of 10:50 p.m. on Friday.
“This was one of the most devastating storms to hit our service area in recent memory,” said Gary Stockbridge, Delmarva Power region president said of the tropical storm. “We want to express our sincere appreciation to our customers, especially those in the most heavily damaged areas, for their patience and understanding as we worked around the clock to restore their service.”
The company deployed more than 1,250 personnel to work around the clock to repair the damage and restore service for customers.
The effort included Delmarva Power field and support personnel, local contractors, and resources from several other companies from as far away as Florida, Georgia, Minnesota and Texas. Delmarva Power also received support from its sister Exelon companies, ComEd in Chicago and BGE in Baltimore, as well as contractor crews from Pepco in Washington, DC.
“I also want to thank the thousands of employees at Delmarva Power, our local contractors, the personnel from our sister companies, BGE, ComEd and Pepco, and the mutual assistance we received from across the country for their tireless contributions to this incredible effort. Your teamwork, selflessness and commitment to our customers in challenging conditions have been inspiring,” said Stockbridge.
In total, the storm affected nearly 67,000 Delaware customers and more than 62,000 Maryland customers. Crews restored service for 95 percent of customers affected by the storm by Wednesday night—just 24 hours after the storm had moved out of the company’s service area.
The extensive damage made restoring service to customers especially complex. Responding to the storm required a significant amount of tree work by arborists who had to remove damaged and downed trees from equipment before repairs could be completed. Restoring service also required replacing more than 120 utility poles and installing more than 40,000 feet of wire. Crews also had to replace more than 150 fuses, 130 cross arms and 65 transformers.
The utility said the outage demonstrated the need to continue to improve the reliability its infrastructure.
The effort includes modernizing Delmarva’s infrastructure, including replacing aging wood poles that are more vulnerable to storm damage with stronger steel utility poles, capable of withstanding winds up to 120 miles an hour and adding greater automation on the local energy grid with new substations and equipment.