At its regular monthly meeting on January 14th at 7:00 pm at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Ave NW) the Dupont Circle ANC will host Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, and representatives from the Mayor’s Office and PEPCO to discuss the response to the recent neighborhood-wide power outages.On January 6th an underground cable fault occurred shortly before 7 a.m. near 18th and Corcoran streets, NW. That affected three underground feeders and led to power outages for approximately 6,100 customers. At first, customers were told power would be restored before noon. That assessment was incorrect, but residents made plans without proper information, and some were stranded in unheated homes in sub-freezing temperatures. By nightfall, a warming center had been set up in Petworth, but it was more than 2 miles away, and many residents did not learn about it until after dark. Many did not feel safe leaving their homes to walk icy sidewalks with no street lights. Above all, our neighbors did not receive enough timely and accurate information to make proper decisions about their own health and safety. While the ANC fully understands that infrastructure breaks down and that it can be difficult to diagnosis and fix the problem, our concern here is about how we respond to such emergencies. What went wrong here, what can we learn from that, and what steps can we take now to improve our communications systems so that future emergencies are better managed?
At the same meeting, four new Commissioners and five returning Commissioners will be sworn in by Mr. Evans and the ANC will discuss a range of regulatory applications as well as their 2015 goals. The full agenda, which will be updated on Sunday, is available HERE.