Thousands of Pepco customers in D.C. remained without power Sunday afternoon

More than 5,500 D.C. Pepco customers are without power, according to the utility company.

About 3,000 of those customers are in or near the Logan Circle neighborhood, an area served by two affected power lines from Pepco’s Benning Road substation.

Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey said the outage was caused by equipment failure at the substation. He said crews are working to restore power to some of the affected customers, while they work on permanent repairs.

But for many customers power is not likely to be restored before 6 p.m. Sunday, Hainey said.

“We are trying to get as many of those people back on as soon as possible,” he said. “The estimated repair time is about 6 p.m. We think it will probably be longer than that.”

Some customers said they have been told service would not be restored until 2 p.m. Monday, and the outage has forced some restaurants to close for business.

At Shaw Tavern in the Shaw neighborhood, the power went out at 1:30 p.m. in the middle of brunch service, said General Manager Rob Heim.

“Unfortunately when the power goes out the cooking equipment all turns off as well so we were unable to cook for about half of the restaurant,” Heim said.

He said about 50 people had to leave without eating. Heim said Pepco told him power would be restored by 2 p.m. Monday. The restaurant was forced to close for the dinner service, he said.

“It is the third time in two years that it has happened to us and I understand that we are in an older section of the neighborhood,” he said. “We would like the city to update the system as the neighborhoods continue to grow.”

Other outages were reported elsewhere in the city bringing the total number of Pepco customers without electricity Sunday afternoon to more 5,500, according to the Pepco Web site.

The outage is reported on a humid and warm day in the area. Temperatures in the city reach 90 degrees Sunday and the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 8 p.m.

Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.

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