The thunderstorm that hit the region on Aug. 7 left 139,000 homes without power in just a few minutes, writes Erin McCarthy for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
For PECO employees, who said the storm was one of the worst they could recall, the end of the storm marked the start of a race to get the power back to customers as fast as possible.
Before the storm had even started, many of them received a text that simply read “Level 3.” That meant mandatory overtime and that the length of their shifts doubled to 16 hours.
“At that point, you kind of get into storm mode,” said lineworker Nicholas Gualberti.
The storm turned out worse than anybody expected.
“We all say, ‘OK, we’re going to be on mandatory 16-hour shifts for the next five days,’” Gualberti said. “We’re going to be busy.”
At the operations control center, the company followed what customers were sharing either by call or online.
Numerous teams of lineworkers, PECO contractors, and other field workers were sent out to repair the damage the storm inflicted.
Around 80 percent of customers saw their power restored within 24 hours, and around 99 percent in under three days.
Read more about PECO’s tireless efforts to restore power after an outage in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, the largest fully regulated utility company in the nation.