In wake of Toby, Delmarva Power responds to scattered outages

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Delmarva Power reminds its natural gas customers in northern Delaware to clear snow from the vents of natural gas-fired appliances to ensure safe and proper operation of this equipment.

NEWARK (DE): With high winds, ice, and wet, heavy snow falling throughout the day, Delmarva Power’s Emergency Response Organization is fully activated and ready to respond. Although damage and outages have been limited so far today, crews and personnel are prepared to work as quickly and safely as possible to restore service to customers should additional outages occur.

Forecast conditions include the potential for up to 12 inches of wet, heavy snow across the northern portions of the service area throughout this evening. Lower amounts between 2 to 8 inches are expected for southern portions of the service area. Due to the severity of the storm, significant outages could still occur. Wet, heavy snow can bring down trees and branches causing damage to electric equipment. Additionally, trees and tree limbs already weakened by previous storms may break and fall onto power lines and equipment, causing power outages.

In addition to nearly 260 internal linemen, Delmarva Power has more than 240 overhead line contractors and tree crew personnel. Delmarva Power’s Call Centers are also staffed and prepared to support its customers. Delmarva Power representatives are in close contact with state and local emergency management agencies to ensure a coordinated community response.

Delmarva Power reminds its natural gas customers in northern Delaware to clear snow from the vents of natural gas-fired appliances to ensure safe and proper operation of this equipment. These appliances include heaters, water heaters, natural gas fireplaces and clothes dryers, which rely on an uninterrupted supply of fresh air to work properly. Blowing and drifting snow can block the intake and exhaust vents of natural gas equipment, forcing appliances to automatically shut down and possibly cause serious damage to the equipment.

Here are some tips for maintaining natural gas equipment during winter storms:

• Make sure your gas meter is free from snow and ice by gently clearing snow using a broom or large brush. Use caution when clearing snow and ice from this equipment.

• Do not use a sharp tool to chip ice away – this can cause damage or break the gas meter.

• If the gas meter is encased in ice and you experience problems with your gas service, or if you smell gas, please immediately call Delmarva Power’s gas emergency number at 1-302-454-0317.

Delmarva Power also reminds customers to stay safe during extreme winter weather and prepare for possible storm damage. Customers can visit Delmarva Power’s website at www.delmarva.com, use the mobile app or contact the company at 1-800-898-8042 to report any outages.

• Always stay away from any storm damaged electrical equipment, especially downed power lines and tree limbs that may come into contact with power lines.

• Never use an oven or other cooking device as a heat source for your home.

• Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring. Never use a generator indoors, in an attached garage or other enclosed structure. Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.

• Check on elderly neighbors and relatives.

Just as Delmarva Power has made preparations ahead of the storm, customers also should be prepared for the impact of severe weather:

• Have a flashlight with fresh batteries on each floor of your home.

• Have a supply of bottled water and easy-to-prepare, non-perishable foods available.

• Charge cell phones and other mobile devices.

• More tips are available at www.delmarva.com.

Over the last five years, Delmarva Power has spent hundreds of millions of dollars modernizing the local energy grid to enhance reliability for customers and prevent those outages that can be prevented. This work has resulted in the most reliable electric service in the company’s history.

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