No favoritism in restoring power in D.C., official says

Trees and power lines continue to litter streets across the region. Photo: Ben Rice

As power continues to be restored to some D.C. residents, others are wondering if they are among the less favored or forgotten.

But D.C.’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, Paul Quander, says he doesn’t believe some Wards get better treatment than others. He says the outages are “evenly spread.”

The wave of late Friday-evening storms caused hurricane-like damage as it knocked out power to 3 million customers from Indiana to Washington, D.C. Utilities have warned that many neighborhoods could remain in the dark for much of the week, if not beyond.

“We have about 7,000 residents that don’t have power,” Quander said Wednesday morning. “At the height of the storm, there were about 66,000 so we have made improvement.”

“Right now, life is on hold and that’s unacceptable,” he added.

In the wake of the storm, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is asking President Obama for a disaster declaration. If granted, it would allow the District to seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for costs incurred in storm damage.

Quander says there are “tremendous costs” associated with ensuring that the city continues to run despite the storm damage.

With the recovery efforts, he says the focus should also be on how to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future.